Historical literatures

Writing about the past in England, 1660-1740

By Noelle Gallagher

Historical literatures
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  • Price: £19.99
  • ISBN: 9780719087622
  • Publish Date: Aug 2012
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback -
  • Price: £19.99
  • ISBN: 9780719099243
  • Publish Date: Jan 2016
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9924-3
    • Pages: 272
    • Price: £19.99
    • Published Date: January 2016


    Newly available in paperback, Historical literatures recovers a rich, vibrant and complex tradition of Restoration and early eighteenth century English historical writing. Highlighting the wide variety of historical works being printed and read in England between the years 1660 and 1740, it demonstrates that many of the genres that we now view primarily as literary - verse satire and panegyric, memoir, scandal and chronicle - were also being used to represent historical phenomena.

    In surveying some of this period's 'historical literatures', it argues that many satirists, secret historians and memoirists made their choice of historical subject matter a topic of explicit commentary, presenting themselves as historians or inscribing their works in an English historical tradition. By responding to other varieties of history in this self-conscious way, writers like Andrew Marvell, John Dryden, Delarivier Manley, Daniel Defoe and John Evelyn were able to pioneer influential new techniques for representing their nation's past.


    devoted to the theme of the intricate relation of history to the novel
    Jonathan Lamb, SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, 31/10/2013|Gallagher's thoughtful and well-written book succeeds admirably in depicting the broad spectrum of historical literatures.
    , R.C. Richardson, University of Winchester, The Spenser Review, Book Review, 2012


    Introduction: English historiography at its 'lowest ebb'
    Part I: Memoir: Memoirs and the history of the individual
    1. Apostrophe: Colley Cibber's Apology and the development of social history
    2. Analogy: John Evelyn's Kalendarium and the public diary tradition
    Part II: Secret history: Secret histories as histories
    3. Narrative voices: Daniel Defoe's Secret History of the White-Staff in dialogue
    4. Narrative Personae: Delarivier Manley's Secret Memoirs and Manners and the modern chronicle
    Part III: Satire and panegyric: Satire and panegyric as forms of historical writing
    5. Metonymy: Edmund Waller, Andrew Marvell, and the advice-to-a-painter poem
    6. Metaphor: Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel and historical allegory
    Part IV: History reconsidered: Rethinking history at its 'lowest ebb'
    7. Secret history and Roger North's 'historical controversy'
    8. History with a 'design': satire and John Oldmixon's History of England During the Reigns of the Royal House of Stuart


    Noelle Gallagher is Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century British Literature at the University of Manchester.

    Historical literatures

    By Noelle Gallagher

    Paperback £19.99 / $29.95

    Hardcover £85.00 / $127.95

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