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John Keats and the Ideas of the Enlightenment$
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Porscha Fermanis

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637805

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637805.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 04 April 2020

Civil Society: Sentimental History and Enlightenment Socialisation in Endymion and The Eve of St. Agnes

Civil Society: Sentimental History and Enlightenment Socialisation in Endymion and The Eve of St. Agnes

Chapter:
(p.39) Chapter 2 Civil Society: Sentimental History and Enlightenment Socialisation in Endymion and The Eve of St. Agnes
Source:
John Keats and the Ideas of the Enlightenment
Author(s):

Porscha Fermanis

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637805.003.0003

This chapter concentrates on Endymion and The Eve of St. Agnes. While William Hazlitt's comments do not explicitly refer to the historical elements of Walter Scott's and Godwin's novels, his distinction between external and internal modes of observation has clear affinities with the way in which those writers themselves believed that history could be represented in fiction and in extra-historical genres such as biography and memoir. In both Endymion and The Eve, John Keats presents aspects of sentimentalist historiography — interiority, privatisation, historical evocation — within the framework of a staged sense of developmental progression. The inherently sociological orientation of Endymion and The Eve is made explicit in the Hyperion poems, which dramatise the encounter between the Titans and the Olympians as an anthropological clash between two different societal stages, although in both cases this narrative of human development is somewhat compromised by Keats' inability or disinclination to finish the poems.

Keywords:   Endymion, The Eve of St. Agnes, John Keats, civil society, sentimentalist historiography, Enlightenment socialisation

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