Conversion and Reform in the British Novel in the 1790s: A Revolution of Opinions

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9780230612297: Conversion and Reform in the British Novel in the 1790s: A Revolution of Opinions

Dramatically expanding the boundaries of the British “Jacobin” novel, Conversion and Reform in the British Novel in the 1790s analyzes the works of a wide range of British reformists writing in the 1790s, including William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, and Maria Edgeworth, who reshaped the conventions of contemporary fiction to position the novel as a progressive political tool.  Rather than aiming to launch a bloody revolution, these authors worked to initiate social and political reform in such areas as women’s rights, abolition, the Jewish question, and the leveling of the class system in Britain by converting the individual reader, one reader at a time.

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About the Author:

A. A. Markley is Associate Professor of English at Penn State University, Brandywine, and is the author of Stateliest Measures: Tennyson and the Literature of Greece and Rome.  He has co-edited editions of William Godwin’s Caleb Williams and Fleetwood and has edited a volume of Mary Shelley’s uncollected works, Charlotte Smith’s The Young Philosopher, and Thomas Holcroft’s Memoirs of Bryan Perdue for Pickering and Chatto. Markley has also published essays on the poetry and fiction of the British Romantic and Victorian periods.

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