Romanticism, Revolution and Language : The Fate of the Word from Samuel Johnson to George Eliot

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The repercussions of the French Revolution included erosion of many previously held certainties in Britain, as in the rest of Europe. Even the authority of language as a cornerstone of knowledge was called into question and the founding principles of intellectual disciplines challenged, as Romantic writers developed new ways of expressing their philosophy of the imagination and the human heart. This book traces the impact of revolution on language, from William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, to William Hazlitt, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. A leading scholar in Romantic literature and theology, John Beer offers a persuasive new account of post-revolutionary continuities between the major Romantic writers and their Victorian successors.