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By J. Carson

Populism, Gender, and Sympathy within the Romantic Novel is a richly historicized account that explores anxieties approximately crowds, fiction and conceal, girls authors, and volatile gender roles. James P. Carson argues that the Romantic novel is a kind individualizing in its tackle, which exploits renowned fabrics and stretches formal obstacles in an try to come to phrases with the hundreds. knowledgeable through Bakhtin, Foucault, and Freud, this e-book bargains clean new readings of works by means of Sir Walter Scott, William Godwin, Matthew Lewis, Charles Robert Maturin, and Mary Shelley.   

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Extra resources for Populism, Gender, and Sympathy in the Romantic Novel (Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters)

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Drawing upon the work of Natalie Zemon Davis and other historians, I argue that the phenomenon of carnivalesque cross-dressing does not simply sustain gender and social hierarchy by working as a kind of safety-valve but rather that an alternative and subversive source of authority can be located in the symbolic significance of female disguise. I situate the Porteous Riots, which in Scott’s account are led by “Madge Wildfire,” a man in woman’s clothes, in relation to contemporary accounts of the women’s march to Versailles on October 5–6, 1789, including Scott’s own in The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1827).

Though few” (Milton, Paradise Lost 7. 31), “what is called the Public,” “this multitude of unhappy, and misguided, and misguiding beings” (Wordsworth, Letters 145, 150). Among his contemporaries, Wordsworth finds an undifferentiated unhappy “multitude,” as well as certain classes who lack the capacity fully to appreciate his poems—a capacity that will be more widely diffused “after we (that is, all that is mortal of us) are mouldered in our graves” (Letters 146). Wordsworth’s claim about his future audience bears some resemblance to Benjamin’s observation that art may seek to create a demand that can only be satisfied later.

Not only is there a strong element of popular royalism, but in general the alternative values and attitudes of the crowd have sources in traditional practices, paternalistic doctrines, and even legal statutes of the past. The crowd takes up and transforms for its own ends whatever may be readily available—ideologies as well as objects. Riots may be more properly understood as negotiating strategies with limited aims— which were often achieved—than as futile, self-defeating rebellions against order.

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