Landscape, Liberty and Authority: Poetry, Criticism and by Tim Fulford

By Tim Fulford

Tim Fulford examines panorama description within the writings of Thomson, Cowper, Johnson, Gilpin, Repton, Wordsworth, Coleridge and others. He exhibits how panorama description shaped a part of a bigger debate over the character of liberty and authority in a Britain constructing its experience of nationhood, and divulges the tensions that arose as writers sought to outline their courting to the general public sphere. Fulford's cutting edge research bargains a brand new view of literary and political impression linking the early eighteenth and 19th centuries.

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Extra info for Landscape, Liberty and Authority: Poetry, Criticism and Politics from Thomson to Wordsworth

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By 1726 Dennis was a long established critic, no stranger to controversy. For the young Thomson, recently arrived in London from Scotland, Dennis was an older figure whose ideas, discussed by his friends Aaron Hill and David Mallet, were impressive. Thomson wrote to Dennis and sought an introduction to him in August 1726, shortly after the publication of Winter. Before this, however, he had become enthusiastic about ideas derived from Dennis in the work of Hill, a poet whose encouragement the young Scot sought.

I shall be arguing that, through Dennis's discussion of 'enthusiastic passion' in poetry, Thomson developed a discourse on landscape intended, as Dennis argued such poetry should be, to appeal to and renew the taste of gentlemen. Thomson's loco-descriptive verse, I shall contend, formed an ideology the more powerful for its apparent naturalness and the more effective for the contradictions it included. Amongst these contradictions was that in which power is refigured as powerlessness, a reversal staged by Thomson in the theatre of nature, but with relevance to the theatre of society since it presents submission to authority as an inevitable and universal lot.

186. 32 Landscape, liberty and authority Roman republic and England under King Alfred they were able to idealize a constitutional liberty under threat without risking having their plays banned. Chesterfield had opposed the Licensing Bill in a powerful speech in the Lords, and in pamphlets and opposition journals he attacked Walpole's influence. In the Lords he spoke of the 'slavery and arbitrary power' certain (and intended by the Crown) to be produced by the increase of the standing army. After the fall of Walpole Chesterfield continued to attack the succeeding ministry, composed mostly of Walpole's followers.

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