Is 'Caleb Williams' a Jacobin Novel? PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Markus Widmer

Is 'Caleb Williams' a Jacobin Novel?

GRIN Verlag
Publication date: January 2003
ISBN: 9783638200950
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)

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In this essay, I will approach the term Jacobin novel with several definitions, attempting to cover as many aspects of William Godwin's novel Caleb Williams and its background as possible. I will discuss with each definition whether it is applicable to the novel, or not. In the first part of the essay, the definition will be concerned with the political background of the author, mainly. Then I will consider the political philosophy inherent in the novel itself. Finally, I will investigate the aesthetics of Caleb Williams, and discuss whether these contradict the political content of the novel. The first difficulties when trying to define the term Jacobin novel arise with the word Jacobin. It has been used in the English Revolution debate of the 1790s mainly by the conservatives, counter-revolutionaries, or Anti-Jacobins' to name, or rather denounce, the supporters of the French Revolution. These had rather little to do with the particular political movement of revolutionary France which went under that name. [T]he term Jacobin itself is misleading, since most of those in Britain who bore that label were in fact Girondins in their principles and beliefs, and took their political thought from native rather than French precedents. The name Jacobin, however, was at least partly accepted by the English supporters of the French Revolution (Kelly 2), and is useful as an umbrella term for the relatively heterogeneous group of progressive political forces in the 1790s.2 As the author of Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and several pamphlets, Godwin was obviously directly involved in organized English Jacobinism in the early 1790s' (Kelly 4). Essay aus dem Jahr 1998 im Fachbereich Anglistik - Literatur, Note: 2 (B), University of Aberdeen (English Seminar), Veranstaltung: Romantics and Revolutionaries, 5 Quellen im Literaturverzeichnis, Sprache: Englisch.
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