Embattled Reason, Principled Sentiment and Political Radicalism: Quixotism in English Novels, 1742-1801 proposes a new understanding of eighteenth-century Quixotism in English thought and literary production. The honourable and reform-oriented envisaging of the world displayed by eighteenth-century English Quixotes reveals a strain of lament and criticism aimed at the rise of commercialism and the pre-eminence of self-interest, patriarchy, political economy, religious conformism and imperial designs. Chapters on Henry Fielding, Sarah Fielding, Henry Mackenzie, Charlotte Lennox, Richard Graves and Charles Lucas exemplify the period’s marketplace diversity while convincingly claiming intellectual common ground. Quixotism appears as a discourse serving ethic-political ends, in which its very formulation as a genteel, though eccentric, assembly of principled sentiments enables social intervention and a political critique upheld by comedy and Whiggish sympathetic laughter.
Dragoş Ivana is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bucharest. He has published widely on both the reception of
Don Quixote in 18th-century England and novel theory. He is a member of the Centre of Excellence for the Study of Cultural Identity and treasurer of the Romanian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. He was the recipient of a few research grants at the University of Kent, the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the British Library and a visiting fellowship at Chawton House Library in June 2014. He is currently working on English female quixotism from mid- to late-eighteenth century and cultural representations of London from classic to late modernity.
Table of contents
Chapter 1. Henry Fielding and the Rhetoric of Quixotic Benevolence:
Don Quixote in England Chapter 2. The Institutionalization of a New Genre Based on a Productive Tautology: Henry Fielding’s Comic
Romance and Quixotism
Chapter 3. From Don Quixote’s Lance to Parson Adams’ Quixotic Benevolence
Chapter 4. Quixotism, Moral Sentiment and Mandevillian Economics in Sarah Fielding’s
The Adventures of David Simple and
Volume the Last Chapter 5. The Bad Effects of Sentimental Quixotism: Unprincipled Sentiment as Virtue in Henry Mackenzie’s
The Man of Feeling Chapter 6. Feminizing Quixotism: The Politics of Genre and Gender in Charlotte Lennox’s
The Female Quixote Chapter 7. A Tale of Faith and Love: Religious Enthusiasm and Natural Affection in Richard Graves’
The Spiritual Quixote
Coda: Charles Lucas’
The Infernal Quixote, Radicalism and the Comic Sense of Moral Reform