William Cowper: Religion, Satire, Society

Bucknell University Press, 2004 - 207 pagina's
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Following a brief introduction showing the current state of Cowper scholarship, this book first examines eighteenth-century critical theory, showing how theology and literary analysis frequently overlapped. The next chapters examine Cowper's formative relationship with the satirical culture of the early 1760s, continuing with an explanation of how Cowper was drawn into public satirical debate as a result of his cousin's lengthy and controversial defense of polygamy. Cowper's reputation as a satirist is then juxtaposed with his understanding of gardening as an endeavor rich in political and theological metaphors. The final chapters consider Cowper's fascination with frontiers and with marsh maritime imagery, imagery that represents the defining limits of his imagination. The book concludes by asserting that Cowper's contradictions, inhibitions, and honest insecurities render his body of work peculiarly relevant to a twenty-first-century readership. Conrad Brunstrom is Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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