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William Cobbett
The Politics of Style

£23.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

  • Date Published: February 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521033428

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About the Authors
  • This book offers a thoroughgoing literary analysis of William Cobbett as a writer. Leonora Nattrass explores the nature and effect of Cobbett's rhetorical strategies, showing through close examination of a broad selection of his polemical writings (from his early American journalism onwards) the complexity, self-consciousness and skill of his stylistic procedures. Her close readings examine the political implications of Cobbett's style within the broader context of eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century political prose, and argue that his perceived ideological and stylistic flaws - inconsistency, bigotry, egoism and political nostalgia - are in fact rhetorical strategies designed to appeal to a range of usually polarized reading audiences. This re-reading revises a critical concensus that Cobbett is an unselfconscious populist whose writings reflect rather than challenge the ideological paradoxes and problems of his time.

    • A full study of Cobbett as a writer, examining his style and its political effects from a literary-critical viewpoint
    • Revises the standard view of Cobbett in important ways, which will be of interest to historians as well as literary scholars
    • Provides context of other eighteenth-/early nineteenth-century political journalists and pamphleteers; includes material on his early American journalism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '[This] valuable book makes it possible even for those who find Cobbett's ideas in themselves too often naive, wrongheaded, or repellent, to continue to admire his art. It also goes far to account for Cobbett's undoubtedly enormous influence in his day.' James Sambrook, Romanticism

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521033428
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.394kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    A chronology of Cobbett's life
    Introduction: change and continuity
    Part I. The Creation of Cobbett:
    1. Early writings 1792–1800
    2. A version of reaction
    3. Oppositional styles 1804–16
    4. Representing Old England
    Part II. Cobbett and his Audience:
    5. Dialogue and debate
    6. A radical history
    7. Tracts and teaching
    8. Constituting the nation
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Leonora Nattrass, Nottingham Trent University

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