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Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Literature, Electricity and Politics 1740–1840

‘Electrick Communication Every Where’

Authors: Fairclough, Mary

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  • Covers a broad historical period, but is also informed by close readings of textual and visual examples
  • Takes an innovative approach, using the language of electricity to demonstrate the connections between philosophical, political and literary discourse in the periodTakes an interdisciplinary approach, weaving together cultural histories of science, histories of political discourse, and formal literary analysis
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eBook £63.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-59315-3
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-59314-6
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Softcover £79.99
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About this book

This book investigates the science of electricity in the long eighteenth century and its textual life in literary and political writings. Electricity was celebrated as a symbol of enlightened progress, but its operation and its utility were unsettlingly obscure. As a result, debates about the nature of electricity dovetailed with discussions of the relation between body and soul, the nature of sexual attraction, the properties of revolutionary communication and the mysteries of vitality. This study explores the complex textual manifestations of electricity between 1740 and 1840, in which commentators describe it both as a material force and as a purely figurative one. The book analyses attempts by both elite and popular practitioners of electricity to elucidate the mysteries of electricity, and traces the figurative uses of electrical language in the works of writers including Mary Robinson, Edmund Burke, Erasmus Darwin, John Thelwall, Mary Shelley and Richard Carlile.

About the authors

Mary Fairclough is a Lecturer in the department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York, UK. She is the author of The Romantic Crowd: Sympathy, Controversy and Print Culture (2013), and various articles on the intersection between literature, science and politics in the eighteenth century.

Reviews

   

“This book is useful for those seeking to learn more about the personal, political, intellectual, and spiritual risks undertaken by those involved in the emergence of electrical discoveries and technologies. Literature, Electricity and Politics will interest scholars and students of the history and philosophy of science and intellectual history, as well as those eager to learn more about religious and political thought and the ideals of progress in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.” (Jessica Hamel-Akré, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 31 (3), 2019)


        

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £63.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59315-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £79.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59314-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £79.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-349-95516-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Literature, Electricity and Politics 1740–1840
Book Subtitle
‘Electrick Communication Every Where’
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-59315-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-59315-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-59314-6
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-95516-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 264
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics

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