By Helena Woodard
The eighteenth century was once a time of significant cultural swap in Britain. It used to be a interval marked by way of expeditions to the recent international, Africa, and the Orient, and those voyages have been mirrored within the shuttle literature of the period. It was once additionally a interval within which seventeenth-century empiricism and the medical process grew to become dominant, and during which society grew to become more and more secular. primary to the eighteenth-century worldview was once the proposal of the good Chain of Being, within which all creatures and their writer stood in a hierarchical dating with each other. The years from 1660 to 1833 witnessed either Britain's participation in slavery and the appropriation of the nice Chain of Being by means of social anthropologists and political leaders. With the increase of the slave alternate, blacks have been dropped at Britain opposed to their will, the place they have been enslaved. even as, intellectuals of the interval attempted to put those slaves in the hierarchical body supplied through the good Chain of Being.
The presence of slavery in Britain aroused a lot debate between blacks and whites alike, and the literature of the eighteenth century displays that discuss. This e-book examines representations of blacks in eighteenth-century British literature to light up the discussions approximately race in the course of that interval. the quantity starts off with a dialogue of Alexander Pope's popularization of the good Chain of Being in his Essay on Man, which argued the common score of humanity and which supplied an highbrow origin for slavery. It then examines the works of numerous white canonical writers, together with Defoe, Addison and Steele, quick, and Sterne, to work out how blacks are portrayed of their works. the amount additionally examines works through African-British writers, comparable to James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw and Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, who reveal exclusionary practices between a few theologians; Ignatius Sancho, whose Letters exhibit how slaves have been taught to be thankful, and the way these missing gratitude have been thought of inhuman; and Olaudah Equiano, who indicates how racial hierarchies functionality as a literary trope, relatively in trip literature. the ultimate bankruptcy, on The historical past of Mary Prince, examines the interplay of race and gender.
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Extra resources for African-British Writings in the Eighteenth Century: The Politics of Race and Reason (Contributions to the Study of World Literature)
1 of 2 vols. (London: J. M. Dent and Sons; New York: E. P. Dutton, 1950), 6; first published 1914, 230. See also Arthur O. Lovejoy, who cites the poem in The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1936), 207. Lovejoy duly notes that the poem represents a subordination that was "more gratifying to the higher than consoling to the lower ranks" (207). The poem from Pamela closely resembles part of a sermon written by John Fell 22 December 1680, who cites St.
NOTES 1. See Sir William Petty, The Petty Papers: Some Unpublished Writings of Sir William Petty, ed. Marquis of Lansdowne, vol. 2 of 2 (London: Constable, 1927), 31. Petty was an important figure in the promotion of the new science. A professor of anatomy, he was among those who approved of eliminating theology from university curricula after Puritan complaints about the mixing of Christianity with heathen philosophy. Petty also surveyed Ireland for the Commonwealth. 2. For a thorough treatment of Bacon and the New or Experimental Philosophy, along with the debate between Ancients and Modems, see Richard Foster Jones, Ancients and Moderns: A Study of the Rise of the Scientific Movement in Seventeenth-Century England (New York: Dover, 1961), 89.
F. Zook, The Company of Royal Adventurers Trading into Africa (Lancaster, PA: Press of the New Era Printing, 1919), 9, 16. See also Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1966), 30, 31. As a result of the War of the Spanish Succession, the English received a monopoly of the slave trade from the Spanish as part of the Asiento Pact. 6. Sir William Temple, Jonathan Swift's boss at Moor Park, negotiated the Triple Alliance with England, France, and Holland. See Temple's "An Essay on the Ancient and Modem Learning,'' in Five Miscellaneous Essays, 3rd ed.