Digesting in the longeighteenthcentury
Roy Porter once described the stomach as a historically ambiguous
organ; one awarded great significance in the bodily economy while
subject at the same time to condemnation as a source of pathology, illness and degradation.1 This essay unravels these ambiguities.
Historically, the workings of the human stomach and digestive
system were mysterious. Hidden inaccessibly within the body, the
living human stomach remained unseen and virtually unknowable until the nineteenth century. Eighteenth
This volume of twelve essays, preceded by an introduction that succinctly frames
the problematic and history of the notion of the ‘self’, examines the various
ways the ‘self’ was perceived, fashioned and written in the course of the long
eighteenth century in Great Britain. It highlights, in particular, the interface
between literature and philosophy. The chapters include discussion of
philosophers such as Locke, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Hume, Hutcheson and Smith,
churchmen such as Isaac Barrow and John Tillotson, the novelists Eliza Haywood,
Samuel Richardson and Laurence Sterne, the poets Anne Killigrew, Alexander Pope,
William Blake and William Wordsworth, the writers and sometime diarists Samuel
Johnson and James Boswell, and the radical writer Sampson Perry. The
originality of the studies lies in their focus on the varied ways of seeing and
saying the self, and what Locke called personal identity. They foreground the
advent of a recognisably modern, individualistic and ‘sustainable’ self, which,
still today, remains plural and enigmatic. The book should appeal to a wide
public, both undergraduate and graduate students working in Literature and the
Humanities, in particular those interested in the Enlightenment period, as well
as researchers and the general public interested in questions related to
identity and consciousness and their formulation in the past and
present. The volume follows a chronological narrative which surveys the
intriguing and protean nature of the ‘self’ from varied perspectives and as
expressed in different genres. It assembles contributions from both confirmed
and young researchers from Britain, Europe and the United States.
eternal afterlife to the young also underwent significant changes.
This chapter explores modifications in children’s education
on these subjects in one newly emerging genre, hymns for children,
to reveal the evolving intricacies of eschatological teaching and
their popular dissemination during the longeighteenthcentury.
While the first children’s hymns primarily used the threat of
hell to persuade the young to live morally upright, productive lives
in continuum with earlier Puritan literature, subsequent writers
Games and sports in the
failures of transmission
ne the most important types of modern cultural and leisure activity, organised sport, did not have its European origins – unlike many of
those other areas discussed in this book such as voluntary associations, concert
music, leisure resorts, commercial theatre and promenades – during the Age of
the Enlightenment. Or to be precise, while there was a major breakthrough, to
use Norbert Elias’ term, in the ‘sportisation process’ in Georgian England – as a
Throughout the long eighteenth century, gambling was hugely popular in Britain, to the growing consternation of critics and lawmakers. This paper explores how Gothic novels portray gambling as not merely an idle pastime, but as an addictive and dangerous behaviour that leads the gambler down the road to villainy. Ann Radcliffe‘s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), William Godwin‘s St Leon (1799), Percy Shelley‘s St Irvyne (1811), and John Polidori‘s The Vampyre (1819) all feature villains who gamble. The Gothics portrayal of villainous and pathetic gamblers added to the widespread and growing public concern about gambling in Britain.
With the help of the Jesuits, the Qianlong emperor (often said to be Chinas Sun
King in the long eighteenth century) built European palaces in the Garden of
Perfect Brightness and commissioned a set of twenty images engraved on copper in
Paris. The Second Anglo-Chinese Opium War in 1860 not only saw the destruction
of the Garden, but also of the images, of which there are only a few left in the
world. The John Rylands set contains a coloured image which raises even more
questions about the construction of the palaces and the after-life of the
images. How did it travel from Paris to Bejing, and from Belgium to the John
Rylands Library? This article probes the fascinating history of this image. It
highlights the importance of Europeans in the making of Chinese history and
calls for studies of China in Europe.
The prevailing historiographies of Jewish life in England suggest that religious
representations of the Jews in the early modern period were confined to the
margins and fringes of society by the desacralization of English life. Such
representations are mostly neglected in the scholarly literature for the latter
half of the long eighteenth century, and English Methodist texts in particular
have received little attention. This article addresses these lacunae by
examining the discourse of Adam Clarke (1760/2–1832), an erudite Bible scholar,
theologian, preacher and author and a prominent, respected, Methodist scholar.
Significantly, the more overt demonological representations were either absent
from Clarke‘s discourse, or only appeared on a few occasions, and were vague as
to who or what was signified. However, Clarke portrayed biblical Jews as
perfidious, cruel, murderous, an accursed seed, of an accursed breed and
radically and totally evil. He also commented on contemporary Jews (and
Catholics), maintaining that they were foolish, proud, uncharitable, intolerant
and blasphemous. He argued that in their eternal, wretched, dispersed condition,
the Jews demonstrated the veracity of biblical prophecy, and served an essential
purpose as living monuments to the truth of Christianity.
Architecture and visual arts in general have been subjects of a growing body of recent scholarship connected with the ecclesiastical history of the ‘Long Eighteenth Century’, but little attention has been given to portraiture. Although honourable mention should be made of pioneering work by John Ingamells on painted episcopal portraits, and by Peter Forsaith, very recently, on Methodist portrait prints, other aspects of this extensive subject still await investigation. The article outlines the development of engraved portrayal of clergy, mainly of the Church of England, during the two centuries before production of multiple images was taken over by photography, and indicates how the quantity, variety, and dissemination of such material can provide some index of the priorities of a pre-photographic age. It does not aim to be a comprehensive or a complete survey of the corpus of engraved portraiture; nevertheless, this article provides an initial guide to the abundance of previously unexplored illustrative material, and may suggest a framework for further exploration. It is hoped that future scholars will build on this initial work to enable a complete catalogue of such images to be developed and further explored.