Eighteenth-Century Characters: A Guide to the Literature of the Age

Eighteenth-Century Characters: A Guide to the Literature of the Age

by E. McGirr


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Eighteenth-Century Characters offers a concise introduction to the eighteenth century, using characters as its starting point. Elaine M. McGirr presents contextualized readings of stock characters from canonical and popular literature, such as:
- the rake and the fop
- the country gentleman
- the good woman
- the coquette and the prude
- the country maid and the town lady
- the Catholic, the Protestant and the British Other.

Each chapter explores how a character's significance and role changes over the century, illustrating and explaining radical shifts in taste, ideology and style. Also featuring illustrations, a Chronology and a helpful Bibliography and Further Reading section, this essential guide will provide students with the necessary background to understand the period's literature and to embark on further study.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781403985583
Publisher: Macmillan Education UK
Publication date: 03/15/2007
Edition description: 2007
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

ELAINE M. McGIRR is Lecturer in English and Drama at Royal Holloway University of London, UK, teaching in both the Department of English and the Department of Drama and Theatre. She has previously taught in the English and History departments at Washington University in St. Louis, USA, and was a visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, in 2003-4.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.- Chronology.- Introduction.- PART I: MEN: THE MAKINGS OF AN ENGLISHMAN.- The Rake.- The Fop.- The Country Gentleman.- The Cit.- PART II: WOMEN: 'MOST WOMEN HAVE NO CHARACTERS AT ALL'.- The Heroine; or Dwindle into a Wife.- The Coquette and the Prude.- The Country Maid and the Town Lady.- Learned Ladies and Female Wits.- PART III: OTHERS.- The Catholic Other: Monsieurs and Macaronis.- The Protestant Other: Low and High Dutch.- The British Other: The Scot.- Endnotes.- Primary Works Cited.- Bibliography and Further Reading.- Index.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The 'characters' assembled by Elaine McGirr are figures that anyone who studies the Eighteenth century is certain to encounter; the particular history out of which each arises and the multiple uses to which all are put in literary texts are among the necessary questions about them that everyone who reads this book will have the tools to tackle.' - Peter Merchant, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

'A rich and gripping approach to Eighteenth-century literary history.' - Helen Thompson, Northwestern University, USA

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