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Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Literature, Electricity and Politics 1740–1840

‘Electrick Communication Every Where’

Authors: Fairclough, Mary

  • 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
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59315-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • 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
  • 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
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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.

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction: Electricity, Spectacle and Figuration

    Fairclough, Mary

    Pages 1-30

  • Experiment, Aether and the Soul of the World

    Fairclough, Mary

    Pages 31-75

  • Electrical Medicine, Feeling and Eroticism

    Fairclough, Mary

    Pages 77-119

  • Animal Electricity, Vitality, and Revolution

    Fairclough, Mary

    Pages 121-169

  • Electrochemistry, Matter and Life

    Fairclough, Mary

    Pages 171-221

Buy this book

eBook £63.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59315-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 and Tables
2 b/w illustrations
Topics