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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys the rhetorical treatises and associated cultural practices that constituted the elocutionary movement—a strand within rhetoric that flourished in eighteenth-century Britain and placed particular emphasis upon delivery (actio, pronuntiatio). It places the movement in relation to other contemporary schools of rhetorical thought (neoclassical, belletristic, and new rhetoric) and shows the selectivity with which its exponents drew upon classical rhetoric. It considers sociohistorical matters—including typical preaching practices of Anglicans and Methodists—as factors that gave the movement currency, and it shows how elocutionary ideas were spread not only through print culture but also through public lectures. Rhetoricians addressed include Hugh Blair, John Mason, Thomas Sheridan, John Henley, Michel Le Faucheur, James Burgh, and Gilbert Austin.

Keywords: rhetoric, elocutionary movement, delivery, actio, belletristic, preaching, Hugh Blair, John Mason, Thomas Sheridan, John Henley

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