By Moyra Haslett
This booklet defines literature of the eighteenth century as a literature written and acquired as public dialog. Moyra Haslett discusses and demanding situations traditional methods of studying the interval, fairly on the subject of rules of the general public sphere. Key texts (including The Dunciad, Gulliver's Travels and Pamela) are learn during the context in their imitations and counter-fictions, and the hot genres of the periodical, released letters and the unconventional are mentioned as textual equivalents of coterie tradition.
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Additional resources for Pope to Burney, 1714-1779: Scriblerians to Bluestockings (Transitions)
When subscription publishing replaced individual patronage as the dominant mode of publishing major works, it seemed, many interests replaced the single interest. Of course, there was still a reflected glory in being a subscriber, with your name proudly printed at the beginning of the volume. As Susan Staves has written, ‘the new class of the polite is 20 Introduction visible in Pope’s subscription lists – lords, private gentlemen, doctors, lawyers, bankers, publishers, actors, ladies – mingled together in lists partly alphabetical, partly by rank, all subscribers being grouped by the initial letter of their last names and then, roughly, by rank within each letter’ (quoted in Eagleton 1984, 30).
The total of their subscriptions permitted a number of books to be purchased and then shared between the members. Most of these clubs existed outside of London and many purchased only ephemeral works of especially topical notoriety. 17 These book clubs operated as intimate, exclusive kinds of circulating libraries. But they also parallel the development of literary criticism as a distinct kind of writing and response, since these groups undoubtedly discussed their reading just as much as they circulated books.
Hume’s and Fielding’s ‘sociable’ and Johnson’s ‘clubbable’ era resonate with Gay’s much darker vision of eighteenth-century society in The Beggar’s Opera (1728), especially in Lockit’s expression of it: ‘Lions, wolves, and vultures don’t live together in herds, droves or flocks. Of all animals of prey, man is the only sociable one. Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together’ (Gay 1986, 98–9). 2 The tropes of textual conversations and literary groups that underlie this book, then, are not always ideal formations, but they present debates that are distinctive to the eighteenth century in their pervasiveness and significance.
Pope to Burney, 1714-1779: Scriblerians to Bluestockings (Transitions) by Moyra Haslett