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Americomania and the French Revolution Debate in Britain, 1789-1802

by Wil Verhoeven

This book explores the evolution of British identity and participatory politics in the 1790s. Wil Verhoeven argues that in the course of the French Revolution debate in Britain, the idea of America came to represent for the British people the choice between two diametrically opposed models of social justice and political participation. Yet the American Revolution controversy in the 1790s was by no means an isolated phenomenon. The controversy began with the American crisis debate of the 1760s and 1770s, which overlapped with a wider Enlightenment debate about transatlantic utopianism. All of these debates were based in the material world on the availability of vast quantities of cheap American land. Verhoeven investigates the relation that existed throughout the eighteenth century between American soil and the discourse of transatlantic utopianism: between America as a physical, geographical space, and America as a utopian/dystopian idea-image.

The Female Quixote

by Charlotte Lennox Amanda Gilroy Wil Verhoeven

A young woman is caught up in her ideas about romance and valor in this celebrated eighteenth-century parody of Don Quixote Written in 1752 and admired by Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, and Dr. Johnson, The Female Quixoterelates the comic misadventures of Arabella, a hapless aristocrat whose life becomes hopelessly confused with the romantic fiction she so adores. Charlotte Lennox parodies the style of Cervantes throughout, creating a high-spirited send-up of upper-class mores and literary convention. Timeless in its irreverent observations, this is a treasure of eighteenth-century English literature.

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