This chapter surveys Jonson’s impact on the nineteenth century, tracing out his substantial influence on poets, novelists and theatre professionals on the page and on the stage. In 1990, D. H. Craig wrote: ‘Jonson’s work, for the nineteenth century, was bafflingly inconsistent.’ This chapter, looking in detail at the way in which writers such as Charles Dickens, Walter Scott, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope interacted with and learned from Jonson, argues that his work did offer a consistent point of departure for important trends in nineteenth-century writing. By examining such specific encounters, and the work done by William Poel in reviving Jonson’s plays for the professional theatre at the end of the century, this chapter continues to reshape our sense both of the power and persistence of Jonson’s literary influence in the centuries after his death.
This article explores how changing ideas about time and time-telling had a powerful and lasting impact upon the literature of the long eighteenth century (i.e., c. 1660–c. 1830). After a brief overview of the dominant technological, scientific, and philosophical preoccupations, the discussion concentrates on influential recent critical studies of topics such as the relationship between clock time and narrative structure in the novels of Samuel Richardson and Laurence Sterne, the appearance of poetical subgenres directly inspired by mechanical timepieces, and the characteristic skepticism of certain Romantic authors toward the alleged merits of temporal rationalization. Although most of these studies have focused on how the (quasi-)isochronicity of pocket watches and pendulum clocks directly influenced particular literary forms, structures, and themes, this article concludes by arguing that the relationship between literature and time was (in fact) partially reciprocal, and that the former therefore sometimes profoundly altered contemporaneous attitudes toward the practical business of time-telling.
The child is often imagined in the work of Coleridge and Wordsworth as a source of creative energies and of hope for the future of humanity, as well as symbolizing a return to original naturalness. But these ideas about childhood were not peculiar to the Lake poets: they have their origin in the politicized educational theories of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as well as in Joseph Priestley’s revolutionary rhetoric and the children’s literature that emerged from this tradition. Variously combining these influences, a new, often realist children’s literature written by Anna Barbauld, John Aikin, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Blake, Maria Edgeworth, and William Godwin sought to revolutionize the forms and content of earlier books for children. The new children’s literature of the 1790s and early 1800s envisaged a rising generation of socially engaged thinkers capable of transforming society.
Shelley called Milton the single most influential poet in the English tradition. Milton was Shelley's model, mentor, and muse. Shelley also lists Milton alongside Shakespeare and Dante as a philosopher of ‘the very loftiest powers’. This chapter examines Milton's influence on Shelley's work, considering allusions to Milton in works such as A Defence of Poetry, Prometheus Unbound, The Cenci, and Adonais.