By Gary Dyer
Gary Dyer breaks new flooring through surveying and analyzing thousands of satirical poems and prose narratives released in Britain through the Romantic interval. those works were overlooked via literary students, happy that satire disappeared within the overdue eighteenth century. Dyer argues that satire endured to be a massive and widely-read style, and that modern political and social conflicts gave new meanings to conventions inherited from classical Rome and eighteenth-century England. He contains a bibliography of greater than seven-hundred volumes containing satirical verses.
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Additional info for British Satire and the Politics of Style, 1789-1832 (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism)
May . . never do more foolish things / Than visiting SAM WHITBREAD and his brewhouse" (31). Yet the obverse of Peter's wish probably is the real point: not only could George III behave more foolishly, but also the authority he wields is great enough that his foolishness can have cataclysmic effects on others. For Wolcot to acknowledge as much is to indicate that his target ultimately must be monarchy itself. Although it is a difficult question whether Wolcot criticizes monarchy or abuses of it, the distinction would matter little to his many detractors who constructed his ideology by negation: if he found fault in George III and Hannah More, then he was "Jacobinical"; if he condemned Jacobinism in only a few works, then he favored it; if he was an irreligious, somewhat libertine Anglican clergyman, then the amorality of his poetry could spread such corruption; if he did not concur with Gifford and Mathias that the threats to English culture required strong Juvenalian rhetoric, then Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2009 The scope of satire, 1789-1832 37 he was working to undermine that culture with his choice of a comic, often frivolous-sounding satiric style.
Because one of their preconditions is the constant threat of prosecution that faced reformist writers, their characteristic style is the angry playfulness (to employ an apparent oxymoron) found in Moore's Intercepted Letters; or, The Twopenny Postbag (1813), The Fudge Family in Paris (1818), Shelley's Peter Bell the Third (1819), Byron's Vision ofJudgment (1822), Sir Charles and Lady Morgan's The Mohawks (1822), and Leigh Hunt's Ultra-Crepidarius: A Satire on William Gifford (1823). This Radical style, which is the subject of Chapter Three, emerged in part because of the tendencies to legitimate the status quo displayed by each of the two established kinds of satiric verse.
Are we to say on this head, when vice and folly continue to be as bold and shameless as if no satiric lash had even been applied: Shall we intimate that the poets of our own days want fire and force to carry on so formidable an attack? Whatever may be their genius, they seem, in general, to overcalculate their powers. Yet it is the common fault of the modern satirist to glide into the easy track of imitation, when he ought boldly to aspire at cutting out a way entirely his own. Anna Letitia Barbauld, in the Monthly Review notice of George Daniel's The Times (1813) By the period we are examining, the terms "Juvenalian" and "Horatian" had come to mean more than the works by those Roman poets alone would signify.