John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination
|Publication Date||July 2014|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
|Series||Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and the Cultures of Print|
Drawing on a range of new archival materials, John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination reassesses Thelwall's diverse body of work – literary, political, and elocutionary – from the vantage of his heterodox contributions to Romantic-era science. This book argues that Thelwall's scientific materialism merged with his reformist politics and literary imagination in previously unexplored ways to anchor his career over four decades, as he attempted in speech and writing to catalyse democratic reform in the body politic. Through the prism of Thelwall's works, the book demonstrates that materialism was not merely a relic of Enlightenment empiricism and the utopian optimism of the 1790s, but a formative element of British culture well into the nineteenth century – one that was intertwined with idealist modes of thought to make up the double-helix DNA of Romanticism.