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Making History: Textuality and the Forms of Eighteenth-Century Culture
Bucknell University Press / Associated University Presses. 157 pages. 1998. $28. 0838753841. 

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“History” occupies a central yet ambiguous position in both eighteenth-century studies and postmodernsim. The impact of recent theory on eighteenth-century studies has expanded the concept of history, focusing attention on marginal and alternative discourses, genres, and subjectivities. Simultaneously, the traditional eighteenth-century paradigms have been identified as underlying the modern, compromised concepts of self, gender, sex, nation, race, representation, truth, and history that postmodern and postcolonial critiques challenge in the name of a more liberated problematics. Making History is a collection of essays that registers this postmodern challenge, but questions its version of eighteenth-century historiography by demonstrating that historiography to be complicit with and implicit in the postmodern project itself.

Contents

Introduction: History between Text and World. Greg Clingham

  1. The Canonical Ossian. Martin Wechselblatt
  2. Chatterton, Ackroyd, and the Fiction of Eighteenth-Century Historiography. Greg Clingham
  3. “A by-stander often sees more of the game than those that play:” Ann Yearsley Read The Castle of Otranto. Madeleine Kahn
  4. History as “Retro:” Veiling Inheritance in Lennox’s The Female Quixote. Erin F. Labbie
  5. Sexuality on the Surface: Catholicism and the Erotic Object in Lewis’s The Monk. Lisa Naomi Mulman
  6. Violence against Difference: Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Robinson. Adriana Craciun
  7. Forbidden Knowledge: Intertextual Discovery and Imitation in the French Revolution. Steven Blakemore

“The essays in Making History engage with the complex relations between writing, history and social change from a strikingly different perspective … some essays in the collection are strengthened by an often sophisticated sense of the theoretical complexities involved in the reproduction and contestation of cultural values.

Paul Keen in British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies


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