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Writing against Revolution
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511266874)

Conservative culture in the Romantic period should not be understood merely as an effort to preserve the old regime in Britain against the threat of revolution. Instead, conservative thinkers and writers aimed to transform British culture and society to achieve a stable future in contrast to the destructive upheavals taking place in France. Kevin Gilmartin explores the literary forms of counterrevolutionary expression in Britain, showing that while conservative movements were often inclined to treat print culture as a dangerously unstable and even subversive field, a whole range of print forms - ballads, tales, dialogues, novels, critical reviews - became central tools in the counterrevolutionary campaign. Beginning with the pamphlet campaigns of the loyalist Association movement and the Cheap Repository in the 1790s, Gilmartin analyses the role of periodical reviews and anti-Jacobin fiction in the campaign against revolution, and closes with a fresh account of the conservative careers of Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

• A study of conservative thought and writing in the Romantic period • Provides a fresh context for Coleridge and Southey • Examines British conservative reaction to the French Revolution and the 1832 reforms


Illustrations; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction: reconsidering counterrevolutionary expression; 1. In the theater of counterrevolution: Loyalist association and vernacular address; 2. 'Study to be quiet': Hannah More and counterrevolutionary moral reform; 3. Reviewing subversion: the function of criticism at the present crisis; 4. Subverting fictions: the counterrevolutionary form of the novel; 5. Southey, Coleridge, and the end of anti-Jacobinism in Britain; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


'the strengths of this book are the detailed and persuasive readings of liminal texts … all such 'expression' was a tribute to the radical culture which forced it into existence.' BARS Bulletin & Review

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