The Power of the Passive Self in English Literature, 1640-1770

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9780521810050: The Power of the Passive Self in English Literature, 1640-1770

Challenging recent work contending that seventeenth-century English discourses privilege the notion of a self-enclosed, self-sufficient individual, this study recovers a counter-tradition that imagines selves as more passively prompted than actively choosing. Gordon traces the origins of such ideas of passivity from their roots in the non-conformist religious tradition to their flowering in one of the central texts of eighteenth-century literature, Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.

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Book Description:

Challenging recent work that contends that seventeenth-century English discourses privilege the notion of a self-enclosed, self-sufficient individual, The Power of the Passive Self in English Literature recovers a counter-tradition that imagines selves as more passively prompted than actively choosing. Gordon traces the origins of such ideas of passivity from their roots in the non-conformist religious tradition to their flowering in one of the central texts of eighteenth-century literature, Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.

About the Author:

Scott Paul Gordon is an Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania. He has published numerous articles on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century subjects.

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