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Gothic Romance

British Romanticism and Continental Influences: Writing in by P. Mortensen

By P. Mortensen

Through the 1790s and 1800s, cultural critics grew to become confident that Britain used to be being 'inundated' by way of pernicious literary translations imported from the ecu Continent. British Romanticism and Continental affects discusses Romantic writers' complicated and ambivalent responses to this threatening literary invasion. faced with international texts that appeared either beautiful and repulsive, Mortensen argues, Romantic writers equivalent to Wordsworth and Coleridge publicly distanced themselves from eu sensationalism, whilst they assimilated and revised its conventions of their personal writing.

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30 And in 1818, long after the Jacobin threat had subsided and new socio-political problems arisen instead, one can also still find the anonymous author of Prodigious!!! or, Childe Paddie in London maintaining that ‘this country is making a rapid progress toward the adoption of the licentiousness of the French press in the shape of novels’, and citing ‘the sophistry of the New Heloise, and the plainness of the Dangerous Connections’ as his examples. 31 William Preston’s ‘Reflections’ To call William Preston’s essay ‘Reflections on the Peculiarities of Style and Manner in the late German Writers, whose Works have appeared in English; and on the Tendency of their Productions’ a xenophobic work is not to engage in some facile act of critical hyperbole.

248–9). Also, Mathias expresses concern about the tendency of fiction written by female writers. Novels by ‘unsexed female writers’ like Charlotte Smith and Fanny Burney, for example, are criticized because they turn girls’ heads ‘wild with impossible adventures’ and leave them ‘now and then tainted with democracy’ (pp. 56–8, 244). Last but not least, the frequency of translation agitates Mathias considerably, and towards the end he unleashes a fierce philippic against this ‘pestilential’ activity: Now when Translation to a pest is grown, And Holcroft to French treason adds his own; When Gallick Diderot in vain we shun, His blasted pencil, Fatalist, and Nun; When St.

In 1805, the Anti-Jacobin heaps contempt on Rousseau, ‘a selfish, depraved, and unprincipled profligate’, whose Confessions displayed ‘a gross outrage of 30 British Romanticism and Continental Influences decency, an audacious contempt of morality, and a most impudent insult to the virtuous part of the community’. 24 In 1809 the journal warns its readers against Madame de Staël’s Corinne as being ‘subversive of all chastity and rational virtue’ (qtd. in de Montluzin, p. 29). Already a decade earlier, the journal had begun a long series of inordinately vicious attacks on ‘the literature and literati of Germany’, in which James Walker among many other slurs accuses Goethe of adulterous living: The renowned author of Werter (Goethe) [ .

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