Fauvet, Paul (1979) Blake, Wordsworth and late eighteenth century radicalism. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis aims to locate the work of two poets, William Blake and William Wordsworth, within the spectrum of late eighteenth century radicalism. The first section of the thesis examines the radicalism of the 1790s. It contrasts the radicalism of bodies such as Grey's Association of the Friends of the People with mass organisations such as the London Corresponding Society, and its Sheffield and Norwich counterparts, rooted among the country*s artisans. It traces the politics and composition of this popular radicalism, and its retreat into conspiratorial activity, in the face of repression, in the second half of the decade.
It then considers the two poets. For Blake, the thesis first of all examines his conditions of production as an engraver, and the constraints he faced because of the characteristics of the eighteenth century art establish ment and art market. It hen considers his poetry; firstly, tracing Blake's revolutionary politics in early poems relating to the American War of Independence through to works dealing with the French Revolution and the European wars of the mid-1790s. Secondly, Blake*s poetry is looked at as a response to certain changes in the ideological apparatuses of his day.
The section on Wordsworth is ordered differently: a strict chronological account of Wordsworth's development is given which enables us to trace the rise and fall of his radical sentiments during the decade. An examination of his well-to-do Cumberland background and education is followed by a consideration of his visit to France in 1792 and its impact« His 1793 republicanism and his retreat from it in the following years is detailed, and the section ends with a reading of the political implications of Wordsworth's contributions to lyrical Ballads. A final chapter contrasts the radicalism of the two poets, placing them within different strands of 1790s radical thought.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 16:00
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 16:00
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6909

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