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Richardson and the Philosophes

Fowler, James (2014) Richardson and the Philosophes. LEGENDA (GENERAL SERIES) . Legenda, Oxford, 195 pp. ISBN 978-1-909662-11-7. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/Richardson-Phi...

Abstract

In mid-eighteenth-century Europe, a taste for sentiment accompanied the 'rise of the novel', and the success of Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) played a vital role in this. James Fowler's new study is the first to compare the response of the most famous philosophes to the Richardson phenomenon. Voltaire, who claims to despise the novel, writes four 'Richardsonian' fictions; Diderot's fascination with the English author is expressed in La Religieuse, Rousseau's in Julie — the century's bestseller. Yet the philosophes' response remains ambivalent. On the one hand they admire Richardson's ability to make the reader weep. On the other, they champion a range of Enlightenment beliefs which he, an enthusiast of Milton, vehemently opposed. In death as in life, the English author exacerbates the philosophes' rivalry. The eulogy which Diderot writes in 1761 implicitly asks: who can write a new Clarissa? But also: whose social, philosophical or political ideas will triumph as a result?

Item Type: Book
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > French
Depositing User: Fiona Godfrey
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2014 09:45 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:51 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42092 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Fowler, James: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2370-6594
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