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Eighteenth-Century Studies


Ossianic Unconformities
Bardic Poetry in the Industrial Age Eric Gidal

In a sequence of publications in the 1760s, James Macpherson, a Scottish schoolteacher in the central Highlands, created fantastic epics of ancient heroes and presented them as genuine translations of the poetry of Ossian, a fictionalized Caledonian bard of the third century. In Ossianic... More


Unnatural Frenchmen
The Politics of Priestly Celibacy and Marriage, 1720-1815 E. Claire Cage

In Enlightenment and revolutionary France, new and pressing arguments emerged in the long debate over clerical celibacy. Appeals for the abolition of celibacy were couched primarily in the language of nature, social utility, and the patrie. The attack only intensified after the legalization of... More


Prose Immortality, 1711-1819
Jacob Sider Jost

Writers have always aspired to immortality, using their works to preserve their patrons, their loved ones, and themselves beyond death. For Pindar, Horace, and Shakespeare, the vehicle of such preservation was poetry. In the eighteenth century, figures such as Joseph Addison, Edward Young, Samuel... More


Utopian Geographies and the Early English Novel
Jason H. Pearl

Historians of the Enlightenment have studied the period’s substantial advances in world cartography, as well as the decline of utopia imagined in geographic terms. Literary critics, meanwhile, have assessed the emerging novel’s realism and in particular the genre’s awareness of the wider world... More


Be It Ever So Humble
Poverty, Fiction, and the Invention of the Middle-Class Home Scott R. MacKenzie

Before the rise of private homes as we now understand them, the realm of personal, private, and local relations in England was the parish, which was also the sphere of poverty management. Between the 1740s and the 1790s, legislators, political economists, reformers, and novelists transferred the... More


Wild Enlightenment
The Borders of Human Identity in the Eighteenth Century Richard Nash

Wild Enlightenment charts the travels of the figure of the wild man, in each of his guises, through the invented domain of the bourgeois public sphere. We follow him through the discursive networks of novels, broadsheets, pamphlets, and advertisements and through their material locations at fair... More


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