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Reinventing LibertyNation, Commerce and the Historical Novel from Walpole to Scott$
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Fiona Price

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402965

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402965.001.0001

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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: 25 January 2020

The Labours of History

The Labours of History

Chapter:
(p.59) Chapter 2 The Labours of History
Source:
Reinventing Liberty
Author(s):

Fiona Price

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402965.003.0003

Chapter Two examines how the evocation of sympathy in the historical novel generates both radical and reformist historical fictions. The interrogation of chivalric sentiment, which begins with Sophia Lee, accelerates after the French Revolution. Responding to Edmund Burke, radical writers like Charlotte Smith, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft argue for a redistribution of sympathy and for a new, more rational historiography. After the Terror, these notions of history for the ‘mass’ were themselves subject to reformulation, notably in the historical novel of the recent past. Historicising the French Revolution, Charles Dacres (1797), Lioncel; or Adventures of an Emigrant (1803), Edgeworth’s ‘Madame Fleury’ (1809) and Burney’s The Wanderer [1814] explore the possibility of an commercial exchange at once sympathetic and economic. Along with other historical novels including Ann Yearsley’s The Royal Captives [1795] and Montford Castle [1795]), such works implicitly suggest the need for workers to be safely politicised.

Keywords:   Chivalry, Sympathy, Sophia Lee, French Revolution, Terror, work, Charlotte Smith, William Godwin, commerce

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