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Robert Bage’s Hermsprong satirizes English society of the 1790s targeting, in particular, corrupt clergymen, grasping lawyers and wicked aristocrats. The protagonist, a European raised among Native Americans, visits Europe and is dismayed by what he encounters. While such satire might seem conventional enough, Hermsprong is distinguished from other political novels of the period by its comedy, and it is a measure of Bage’s success that he won the admiration of writers as different in political outlook as Mary Wollstonecraft and Sir Walter Scott. Indeed, Hermsprong is built around debate, and celebrates the pleasures of the lively exchange of ideas.
This Broadview edition contains extensive primary source appendices including material by William Godwin, Benjamin Franklin, Pierre de Charlevoix, and Voltaire.About the Author:
Pamela Perkins has written on Romantic literature and is the editor (with Shannon Russell) of the Broadview Literary Texts edition of Translations of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah. She teaches English at the University of Manitoba.
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