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1 LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY AND CLASS IN THE NOVELS OF ANN RADCLIFFE By SAMANTHA PLASENCIA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MAS TER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Samantha Plasencia
3 To my m om, d ad, s ister Amy, and f ianc William
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The idea for this project began over a casual conversation w ith fellow MA c andidate Kat herine Peters on Ann R Romance of the Forest As we sipped on coffee one hot afternoon in the summer of 2010, I mentioned an observation that would become the impetus for this work. I am indebted to Katie, whose enthusiasm and early discussions raised my interests on this topic. I also owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Professor Judith W. Page, who first worked with me in writing a conference length paper on this topic, and later became my thesis director. Thank you so much for all your direction, support, and pati ence throughout th e various research and writing phases of th is project. I would also like to thank Albert Brick Professor Pamela Gilbert, whose reading of my argument provided invaluable insight I am indebted to the English Department at The University o f North Alabama for inviting me to present an early form specifically thank Associate Professor Larry Adams, Professor Anne E. Lott, and Assistant Professor Lesley Peterson, whose enthusiasm for the project encouraged me to expand it as my thesis.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 CH APTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 8 2 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LANGUAGE THEORIES ................................ .............. 15 3 LABORING CLASS LANGUAGE IN ANN RAD ....................... 28 4 ANN RADCLIFFE AND ROMANTICISM ................................ ................................ 48 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 52 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 58
6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy LINGUISTIC DI VERSITY AND CLASS IN THE NOVELS OF ANN RADCLIFFE By Samantha Plasencia May 2011 Chair: Judith W. Page Major: English Eighteenth century language theory deviated from seventeenth century language theory in its increased invested in language as a tool fo r social communication. This new investment led to the association of language with progress, and to a spike in publications dedicated to the study of linguistic elements and codes. It also caused viduals from other cultures, or from different regions or classes of the same culture, who spoke differently than the elite contribution and use of this nuanced debate o n language. Scholarly work on her use of language has focused on either her aesthetics, and/or her persistent endorsement of reason and balanced sentimentality. What critics have overlooked is her critique of the linguistic codes of the laboring class. By looking at the language of her laboring class characters, like Peter in The Romance of the Forest (1791) Annette and Bertrand in The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and the peasant guide in The Italian (1797) I argue that Radcliffe uses their redundant, uno rganized, and imprecise linguistic habits representatively to critique sensibility while endorsing sense In so far as their linguistic
7 invested in a logical and rational epi stemology. Furthermore, I argue that her dualistic portrayal of these characters, which both praises and disparages them, ideologically complicates the ideality of later Romantic portrayals of what William Wordsworth calls,
8 CHAPTE R 1 INTRODUCTION measure casual and mutable; many of their terms are formed for some temporary or local convenience, and though current at certain times and places, are in other s utterly unknown. This fugitive cant, which is always in a state of increase or decay, cannot be regarded as any part of the durable materials of a language, and therefore must be suffered to perish with other things unworthy of Samuel John son, Preface to Dictionary of the English Language 1 passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restraint, and speak a pl ainer and more emphatic language; because in that situation our elementary feelings exist in a state of greater simplicity and consequently may be more accurately contemplated and more forcibly William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads 2 As these quotes demonstrate, the eighteenth century was a time of extreme and varied opinions on language, literacy and orality. In Literacy and Popular Culture David how the co mmon people thought about their world, and how they performed in it 3 This interest fueled a spike in publications dedicated to the study of linguistic elements and codes. It rom other cultures, or from different regions or classes of the same culture, who spoke differently than the elite literate class. Interestingly, there has been very little work done on Ann 1 Epigraph. Samuel Johnson, A Dict ionary of the English Language (London: 1755 ), 14 htt p://find. g alegroup.com.Lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArticle&type= m ultipage&t ablD=T001&prodld=ECC0&docld=CW116903198&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version=1. 0&docLevel=FASCIMILE 2 Epigraph. William Wordswort h, Preface to Lyrical Ballads ed. W.J.B. Owen and J.W. Smyser (Oxford: Oxford University Press / Clarendon Press, 1974),124. 3 David Vincent, Literacy and Popular Culture: England 1750 1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge, 1989), 3
9 e. Scholarly work on her use of language has focused on either her aesthetics, and/or her persistent endorsement of reason and balanced sentimentality. What critics have overlooked is her critique of the linguistic codes of the laboring class. By looking a t the language of her laboring class characters, like Peter in The Romance of the Forest (1791), Annette and Bertrand in The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and the peasant guide in The Italian (1797), I argue that Radcliffe uses their linguistic differences representatively to critique sensibility while endorsing sense, and to promote a world view based on reason. Furthermore, I argue that her dualistic portrayal of these characters, which both praises and disparages them, ideologically complicates the ideali ty of later Romantic portrayals 4 unwavering dedication to their maste rs as a relic of feudalism, when loyalties were 5 E. J. Clery writes that only the servants give a class of people it is repeatedly made clear 4 Wordsworth, Preface to Lyri cal Ballads 124 5 Angela Keane, Women Writers and the English Nation in the 1790s: Romantic Belongin g s (United Kingdom, Cambridge) 20
10 6 7 B arbara Benedict also of novels, which sets the self at the center of meaning and laboriously traces every feeling a 8 Notably, none of these critics wrote extensively or exclusively on laboring class characters or their language. Their comments regarding these characters were made incidentally, as small asides in a much larger argument. The lack of attentio n paid to these characters is surprising given eighteenth century concerns about the linguistic codes of servants and the lower classes. As early as 1692 John Locke warns against letting children converse with uneducated servants, saying that they should, if possible, 9 Over sixty years later Thomas Sheridan questions the pract contrary to that of those polished nations, [to] suffer our children [committed] to the care 6 E.J. Clery, (United Kingdom: Northcote House Publishers, 2000), 83 ; James Watt, Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre and Cultural Conflict 1764 1832 (United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press) 115 7 Clery, 83 8 Barbara M. Benedict, Framing Feeling: Sentiment and Style in English Prose Fiction 1745 1800 (New York: AMS Press, 1977) 172 9 John Locke, Som e Thoughts Concerning Educatio n, Gainesville, FL.: University Microfilms, 1982 53
11 of some of the most ignorant and lowest of mankind. 10 Towards the end of the century from the 11 What these selections show is a cultural awareness and concern with the linguistic codes of the non literate, or semi literate community, and a continued attempt to deal w ith a national heteroglossia. The first section of this paper will place Radcliffe amongst eighteenth century language debates. Drawing from both primary source material as well as scholarly ing class language draws on leading contemporary attempts to standardize spoken English. By attributing to the servants and peasants linguistic habits that her contemporaries had demarcated as s rooting her endorsement of invested in promoting rationality over excess sensibility is not new. 12 But no one has 10 Thomas Sheridan, British Education : or, the Source of the Disorders of Great Britain (London: 1756), 184 5 http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.ed u/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArticles&type=multipage&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW105412207&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE 11 Phillip Withers, Aristarchus: or, the Principles of Composition (London, 1789), 44 http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hs cl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArt icles&type=multipage&t abID=T001 &prodId=ECCO&docId=CW113732518&sour ce=gale&userGroupName=gain40375 &version= 1.0&doc Level=FASCIMILE 12 en praising this style for refusing to give into the mass taste for the paranormal. More recent critics, such as Barbara Benedict language of her h Catholicism with superstition is part of a project to endorse Pr Framing Feeling: Sentiment and Style in English Prose Fiction 1745 1800
12 studied how she accomplishes this through the dem otion of her laboring class exception. As I will explain in more detail later, Paulo is the only prominent servant who lacks the linguistic codes associated with the labor ing class. Significantly, he is also the only servant whom Radcliffe describes as skeptical of superstition. Radcliffe imbues her laboring class characters with linguistic habits that are more linguistic differences are represented stylistically, not in dialect. They are most evident in how the semi literate characters present information through linguistic patterns that are distinctively more redundant and copious, and less precise, focused, polite, and linear than the speech patterns of their literate counterparts. Though I may appear to dichotomize literacy and orality, the two were by no means mutually exclusive, but rather coexisted and comingled in complex ways throughout the century. How ever, Radcliffe deals with the issues of her day generally She is not writing as an anthropologist or a grammarian, and so her critique will naturally lack the diversity found in life. untries that eighteenth century Britain already considered backwards, such as Italy. Drawing therefore be seen as stating the obvious. But the distinctive stylistic elements of her British writers, has proven that her interests lay firmly in middle class British society and 13 Cri tics such as Claudia 13 Elizabeth R. Napier, The Failure of Gothic: Problems of Disjunction in an Eighteenth Century Literary Form (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987) 21
13 Johnson have specifically connected these techniques to her engagement with social 14 Although her conservative contemporary critics praised he r writing for critics have proven that Radcliffe displacement of time and place in her novels is a literary strategy to occlude her social criticism from disapproving co nservative male critics. 15 Given their praise, it is safe to say she succeeded. My argument will therefore eighteenth century, and in countries other than England, her crit ique portrays the linguistic codes of eighteenth century England. For the purpose of clarity, in my close reading I will refer to the educated characters (such as Adeline and La Motte in Romance Emily and Montoni in Udolpho and the Confessor in The Ita lian educated characters (such as Peter in Romance Annette and Bertrand in Udolpho and the peasant guide in The Italian rather having the ling uistic habits that characterize a literate mind. I recognize that in trap of identifying the oral tradition with illiteracy. Unfortunately, as Brian Stock argues 16 Though I enter this discussion as an 14 Claudia L. Johnson, Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender and Sentimentality in the 1790s: Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, Burney, Austen (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 76. 15 Watt, Contesting the Gothic 9 16 Brian Stock, The Implications of Literacy: Written Language and Models of Interpretation in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1983) 6
14 allow her to promote an ideology rooted in reason, I recognize the implications of my vocabulary.
15 CHAPTER 2 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LANGUAGE THE ORIES The eighteenth century saw an unprecedented spike in publications dealing with 17 While fewer than fifty of these 18 Jon Mee suggests that the increased focus in the practical uses of the English language parallels an increasing value of English, over the classical 19 We see this as early as 1690, when John Locke 20 Over s 21 Towards the end of the century Thomas Sherid 22 A profound 17 The Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture 1776 1832 ed. Iain McCalman (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 369. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 20 John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education 81 21 Daniel Farro, The Royal Universal British Grammar and Vocabulary: Being a Disgestion of the Entire English Language into its Proper Parts of Speech (London, 1754) xix http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArti cles&type=multipage&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW111721773&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE 22 Thomas Sheridan, A General Dictionary of the English Language, One Object of Which is to Establish a Plan and Permanent Stan dard of Pronunciation (London, 1780), i, http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl .edu/ecco/infomark.do?& contentSet=ECCOArticles&type=multipa ge&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId =CW113186737&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE
16 confidence in the potential of the national language may have been the impetus for the growing effort to improve and standardize it. Murray Cohen, in his detailed and well researched Sensible Words argues that there was a fundamental shift in how people viewed language from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century. Seventeenth century grammarians looked at language philosophicall y, and focused their instructive texts on orthography. Eighteenth century grammarians shifted their focus towards practical instruction. The splitting of orthography and orthoepy represents a fundamental shift in linguistic focus to social communication. E texts. 23 change and variation virtues worth recordin g 24 25 These new linguistic perspectives put interpersonal communication at the beginning of social development distinguish societies by h ow they communicated. 26 Language became integral to an eighteenth century stadial theory of development invested in the premise that the 27 Using eighteenth century England as a marker of civilization, writers who studied different cultures and languages were 23 Murray Cohen, Sensible Words: Ling uistic Practice in England 1640 1785 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977) 79 24 Ibid., 79, 95 25 Ibid. 124 26 Ibid. 121 27 Martin The Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture 1776 1832 ed. Ia in McCalman (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 299.
17 28 Given the cultural association of language and progress, it seems appropriate that Radcliffe chose language to re present the epistemological distinctions she felt were most important to the progress of a nation. 29 perfect 30 Thirty plus years later, in his Plan of a Dictionary (1747), Samuel Johnson writes 31 Ten years later Ja mes 32 To fix such an issue, di 33 Others, were concerned with the 28 Adam R. The Creation of a Classical Language in the 18 th Century: Standardizing English, Texas Studies in Literature 43 (2001 ): 1 21. 29 Tony Crowley, Language in History: Theories and Texts (New York: Routledge, 1996) 54. 30 The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift ed. Herbert Davis and Louis Landa, vol. 2, 1712 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1957 ), 6 31 Samuel Johnson, The Plan of a Dicti onary of the English Language (London, 1747) 11 http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark. do?&contentSet=ECC OArticles&type=multipage&t abID= T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW110967141&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE 32 James Buchanan, A New Pocket Book fo r Young Gentlemen and Ladies or ,A Spelling Dictionary of the English Language (London, 1757) xii http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArticles&type=multipage&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW105628288&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&versi on= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE. 33 Thomas Sheridan, A Course of Lectures on Elocution (London, 1762), 206 http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?& contentSet=ECC OArticles&type=multipage&t abID= T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW110911836&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1. 0&docLevel=FASCIMILE.
18 34 Over forty years later George Hams expresses concern with the rather Confusion in our Language, unless some Care is taken to prevent this growing 35 36 Thus in their attempts to reform language, whether through orthography, orthoepy, or spelling, eighteenth Carey McIntosh argues in The Ev olution of English Prose that the increased and more consciously rhetori 37 This shift, he argues, was the product of a widespread effort to standardize the English language. In language, McIntosh explains, to the central authorities o f a developing state: it puts strong pressures on the language to be more orderly, more precise, and in general more written 38 Integral 34 The Needful Attempt to Make Language and Divinity Plain and Easy (London, 1711) 3 35 George Hams, Observations upon the English Language in a Letter to a Friend (London, 1752) 13 14 http://find .galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArti cles&type=multipage&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW113880789&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE 36 Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Letters ed. Harold F. Harding, vol. 1, 1783 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press 1965), 124 37 Cary McIntosh, The Evolution of English Prose 1700 1800: Style, Politeness, and Print Culture (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998) vii 38 Ibid., 6, 24
19 these linguistic changes is that there was a pointed move away 39 cultural shif loquacious, and their redundancy, sloppiness, and imprecision while speaking is comically portrayed as foolish and socially inept. Linguistically, these servants are juxtaposed to ed portrayed as the standard. Tony Crowley also notes this shift in Language in History but argues that the push to standardize English speakers was a nationalistic project. Both McIntosh and Crowley point to a pervasive concern amongst the literate classes about the varying languages fferent and distant shires, could scarcely any more understand each others speech, than they could 39 Such a reading follows thirty plus years of research on literacy and orali ty. Though an in depth explanation of this research is outside the scope of this paper, it may be helpful, given my argument, to know the two main models, as identified by Brian Street. These are the two main models that dominated literacy and orality res earch from the 1960s through the 1980s. The autonomous model uses literacy to explain the differences between pre literate and literate individuals, societies and cultures. This model interprets the differences psychologically, arguing that pre literate in dividuals have a different consciousness than literate individuals. The leading proponents of this theory include McLuhan (1962, 1964), Havelock (1963), Goody (1977), Greenfield (1972), Ong (1982), Stock (1983), and Olson (1977). This theory has never been adequately substantiated with cognitive research, and an alternative theory is the ideology model, that interprets changes in how people communicate in light of changing social and institutional practices. This theory assumes that the cognitive processes of the individuals stay consistent. The leading proponents of this theory include Scribner (1977), Scribner and Cole (1981), Leach (1966), analyses of spec Society, School, Individual, Text, ed. Charles Bazerman, (New Y ork: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2009), 88; Brian Street, Literacy in Theory and Practice (Cambridge England: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
20 40 A stratification of English such as what Sheridan describes was 41 A heteroglossia so severe that ional unity and 42 monoglot language by eliminating heteroglot elements from English language reform in the latter part of the century. 43 44 As McIntosh finely linguistic qualities generally associated with oral communities. 45 What these critics all istic 46 In excitable sensibilities and a lack of reasoning. In the world of her nov el, the monoglot language that internal colonialism promotes is therefore synonymous with a rational 40 Sheridan British Education 214 41 Crowley, Language in History 68 42 Sheridan, Lectures on Elocution 20 6 ; Crowley, Language in History 63 43 Ibid., 68 44 33 45 McIntosh, Evolution of English Prose 24, 77 46 Ibid., 237
21 world view. Radcliffe imbues her laboring class characters with the precise qualities that she sets out to eradicate. Importantly, as the literate class s tandardized language with their right hand, they which the bourgeois participated in a process of self identification. This process 47 So as the bourgeois identified their own linguistic practi ces of the literate class. 48 It was within this context, Angela Keane was reimagined as a professionalized, bureaucratic public sphere in which each literate individual was self governing 49 So confident were eighteenth century writers in the social power of English that John Ash, in 1761 writes and Beauti es of the English Tongue, would be a very desirable, and necessary 50 are firmly invested in the improvement power of this standard, particularly in its 47 Crowley, Language in History 74 48 tus. For further reading refer to Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice trans. R. Nice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977) ; and Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste trans R. Nice, (London: Routle dge, 1984). 49 Keane, Women Writers 10 50 John Ash, Grammatical Institutes (London, 1761) iii http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArticles&type=multipage&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW116 757818&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE.
22 connection to En lightenment values. So much so, argues Keane, that in her fictions, a peculiarly English faculty, best inculcated through the power of the national language 51 The change in rhetoric that McIntosh descr ibes, and the increasing shift away from traditionally oral linguistic habits, has long been attributed to the advent of the printing press. 52 h thought patterns distinctively different than an oral 53 McIntosh emphasizes the advent of printing by arguing that the new 54 The that the language of any people, before the introduction of letters, could be otherwise than very incoherent and unc onnected 55 Nicholas Hudson has complicated this reading by arguing that printing did not create these differences, but rather allowed for writing and 51 Keane, Women Writers 22 52 nicative habits. Printed in two volumes, this largely influential work provided much of the historical background and foundation for both autonomous and ideological models of literacy. Though responsible for sparking a tremendous amount of scholarly intere st on printing and its subsequent effects on communication, her work has often been critiqued for over emphasizing the effects of the printing press. Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformation in Early Modern Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979). 53 David : The Rise of Modern Science in Literacy and Orality ed. David Olson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 151. 54 McIntosh, Evolution of English Prose 158 55 Joseph Priestly, Course of Lectures on the Theory of Language and Universal Grammar (Warrington, 1763) 156 http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCOArticles&type=multipage&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW111634446&source=gale&us erGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE
23 56 Other scholar s have connected literate print culture to Enlightenment values. attempt to clearly distinguish the given from the interpretation 57 In a print cul ture the given is the printed text, against which all else is compared. This focus, observed facts. Carey McIntosh, in his article on eighteenth century dictionaries, a lso connects literacy to the Enlightenment. 58 argues that dictionaries grew progressively more enlightened as the century moved forward. As proof he cites the growing standardization of language and measurements, a categorization. 59 linguistic habits, are thus rooted in the Enlightenment. These accounts are significant to my argument because I hope to show that Radcliffe uses language distinction as representative of a distinction she is far more concerned with, rational thought. By e ndorses one rooted in the Enlightenment values of reason and logic. 56 Nicholas : The Origins of the Concept in Enlightenment Intellectual Culture in The Spoken Word: Oral Culture in Britain 1500 1850 ed. Adam Fox and Daniel Woolf (New York: Manchester University Press), 241. 57 58 Carey The Yearbook of English Studies 28 (1998): 3 18 59
24 has tried to show just how varied eighteenth century culture and thought were. For example, Janet Sorensen in her article on cant and vulgar dictionaries, notes that these 60 Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (178 61 These popular 62 A nationalistic emphasis behind the printing of cant and vulgar dictionaries certainly compl standardizing language. 63 Writing and European Thought, 1600 1830 is another exploration of the nuanced and complicated changes in language thought and opinion. He argues that in the middle of the eighteenth century thinkers like Thomas Sheridan and Jean 64 The 60 Janet : Canting Dictionaries and the Language of the People in Eighteenth Eighteenth Century Studies 37 (2004) 436 61 Francis Grose, Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (London, 1785), http:/ /find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?& contentSet=ECCOArticles&type=multipage&t abID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW112687422&source=gale&userGroupName=gain40375&version= 1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE. 62 437 63 It should be noted that Sorensen agrees with both Crowley and McIntosh that defining a national pale of polite, rational conversati Carey McIntosh, The Evolution of English Prose 1700 1800: Style, Politeness, and Print Culture (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 435, 436. 64 Nicholas Hudson, Writing and European Thought: 1600 1830 (Great Britain: Cambridge University Press, 1994) 2, 3.
25 its ability to express emotion better than writing. This argument questions the major language theories that link the increase of print culture to the devaluation of the oral. adings importantly complicate neat theories on the happening concurrently. Scholars that talk about a (singular) language shift fail to note uage. 65 uneven both in pace and direction 66 Radcliffe steps into this complex di scourse with an equally complex opinion that represent the Enlightenment values of reason and logic. Hudson connects the mid that emphasized passionate emotion. How then do we account for the romanticized century culture had recoiled from sensibility? ulture led to a splitting of the image of the oral into a romanticized and idealized form and a demotion of the status of popular orality to a concept to be called 67 For orality to be 68 It was this divorcing 65 Barry Reay, Popular Culture in England 1550 1750 (London: Addison W esley Longman Limited, 1998) 70. 66 Vincent, Literacy and Popular Culture 13 67 Penny Fielding, Writing and Orality: Nationality, Culture, and Nineteenth Century Scottish Fiction (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) 23. 68 Ibid., 45
26 Wordsworth. 69 What we see in Radcliffe is a comp licated dualism by which orality is valued theoretically (in the idea of nature, and a cultural simplicity unsullied by modern European culture), but devalued in reality (linguistically, or ideologically). 70 is that the traditions of orality and literacy are far more complicated than any cause and effect, or progress argument can detail. Language did not simply grow more literate and less oral as the century went on. Nor was the language of rural laborers syst ematically eradicated by a society bent on eliminating all traces of orality. In some ways printing helped solidify the survival of oral narrative forms, such as the ballad. Maureen N. McLane powerfully argues that the tradition of balladry and minstrelsy demonstrates just how permeable the boundaries 71 in no way definitively cut off fro 72 change] from oral to written, as from an earlier state, predominately oral, to various 69 Ibid. 70 I have purposely eighteenth hole than the literate culture I have because in many ways, Radcliffe does not linguistically differentiate her laboring class characters (and where she does make linguistic differentiations, as in The Italian I draw attention to it). 71 Maureen N. McLane, Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 4. 72
27 combinations of oral and 73 initially dichotomized, eventually recognize this coexistence. 73 Stock The Implications of Literacy 9
28 CHAPTER 3 LABORING CLASS LANGUAGE IN AN N literate characters are often presented as long winde d speakers, whose superstitions and unfocused stories provide comic relief amid stories of kidnappings and murderous plots. The language used to describe both the characters and their linguistic habits is often comically sarcastic. For example, in Romance as La Motte and his servant Peter explore a secluded chamber in the abbey, Peter notes the barred windows, and begins to compare the room to a prison cell, commenting on a local superstition he had heard while in town. After observing the windows for himse lf, him carry the light b efore them. 74 The sarcas m in referring to his simple speech as Similarly, In Udolpho Annette is painted 75 In speaking of his imprisonment, Ludovico explains that he ] often wished to get rid of it (655). An nette, in perfect (655). ent with the tone and seriousness with which she says it, carries high comedic value in the scene. At other times, the language describing the characters and their speech patterns is severe. For example in Udolpho g to interrupt 74 Ann Radcliffe, The Romance of the Forest ed. Chloe Chard (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986) 143 75 Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho ed. Lise M. Dresner (New York: Barnes & Noble Publishing, Inc., 2005 ), 315
29 judged but well talking eighteenth measured in part the distance a person or community had come from savagery 76 By ss civilized than Emily. In conflating language and politeness as an intertwined measurement of civilization, Radcliffe demonstrates to her readership how closely tied linguistic habits are to the progress of man. At other times Radcliffe pulls from a con sistent vocabulary in describing her The Italian the narrator tells us that as Emily, Schedoni and the peasant guide traveled, Schedoni refrained from asking 77 (255). overly talkative, and socially overwhelming lingui stic habits. Importantly, this loquacity is also the source of their comedy. Crowley argues that eighteenth cannot be denied, it will always rupture and break through, but the attempts to silence, or to laugh at or to allow [it] onl 78 By inviting the reader to 76 McIntosh, Evolution of English Prose 160 77 Ann Radcliffe, The Italian ed. E.J. Clery and Frederick Garber (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), 255 78 Crowley, Language in History 92, emphasis mine
30 displacement act s as a campaign for monoglossia. Importantly, these characters serve a much more significant role than just comic relief. Although the exchanges between literate and semi literate characters is humorous, it stands as representative of the linguistic diffe rences between a literate linguistic code and a more oral linguistic code. Perhaps the most noticeable eighteenth century rhetoricians and grammarians rejected. 79 Part of the push to improve habit. The reason literate individuals so easily identify redund ancy, Walter Ong explains, 80 Oral cultures cannot prov ide the same continuity and so track. 81 Khosrow Jahandarie supports this argument, adding that literate cultures have greatly reduced their need for redundancy due to t 82 The frustration that literate characters feel towards redundancy and copiousness, David Olson argues, reflects an Enlightened society that 79 McIntosh, Evolution of English Prose 6, 24 80 Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (New York: Methuen, 1982) 40. 81 Ibid. 82 Khosrow Jahandarie Spoken and Written Discourse: A Multi Disciplinary Perspective (Connecticut: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1999) 142
31 83 and orderly Enlightened rhetoric that the literate elite was trying to standardize. atterns contextualizes her in contemporary literary debates, and aligns her with attempts to standardize the rural We see an example of redundancy in Romance when Peter tells La Motte that a with a pipe in h is mouth (49). When La Motte agrees that this is where he left (49). In a matter of he same issue arises in Udolpho as a long time, and Holy Virgin! What noise is that? Did not you hear a sound, ma (250). Emily responds that it was nothing but the wind and asks Annette to continue with her story. Annette restarts by repeating her previous statement was saying oh where was I? As I was saying she was very melancholy and unhappy a lo (250 1). Similarly, In The Italian the peasant recounts to the Confessor Schedoni a story he heard, saying It was quite dark, as dark, Signor, I suppose, as it was last night, and he was making the best of his way, Signor, with some fish along the shore, but 83
32 the rocks, he thought he heard somebody coming, and he lifted up his head, I warrant, poor old soul! As if he could have seen who it was; however, he could hear, t hough it was so dark. (279) T he fact that it was dark i s repeated in three separate places within this short passage. For Peter and Annette, r e dundancy serves the practical purpose of helping them restart their stories where they left them off For the pea sant, redundancy keeps him rooted to the important context ual details of his story. In all three cases redundancy effectively keep s the storytellers o n track Radcliffe presents copious and redundant language as frustrating to literate listeners. Schedoni (280). Similarly, frustrated by the amount of time it takes Annette to say the name of the (348). La Motte finds hims elf so utterly violence if he does not (26). speak to the purpose (137). These listeners represent a late eighteenth century rhetoric that encouraged the 84 The instructions they give the linguistic codes they have already internalized. Insofar as these statements are commands, they can also be read as part of an internal colonialism seeking to effect 84 McIntosh, Evolution of English Prose 142
33 eroglot elements from 85 Enlightenment cultural traditions. These linguistic habits are inadequate, then, because their imprecision and vagueness is incongruent with Enlightened rationality. Radcliffe also uses these linguistic habits to create suspense and keep audiences reading. Jane Austen famously has Henry Tilney assert that once he began reading Udolpho 86 suspense and leading audiences to read the disordered and unfocused speeches in eager anticipation o readers would simply turn to a synopsis of the story. The way these stories are told, and the frustration they produce, adds a comedic value to the exchanges, and thus audience identifies with the linguistic codes of the frustrated listeners, as readers they exist at a remove from the act ion of the novel. This distance allows them to identify with critique, taken together these scenes of comedic suspense remind us that the artistic choices that critics often discuss solely in theoretical terms are often also pragmatic. 85 Crowley, Language in History 6, 68 86 Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey ed. Marilyn Gaull (New York: Pearson Education, Inc. / Longman, 2005), 86
34 Another linguistic difference that Radcliffe highlights is the negative impact of an interrup tion to a semi Romance Peter, after being interrupted by La Motte, (49). In says (145). In Udolpho Emily interrupts Bertrand twice during his narrative, and he angrily exclaims me out twice with the question (423). In The Italian (281). Several scholars of language have noted the problem that interruptions pose to oral story telling. For example, Walter Ong notes argues 87 In all three novels Radcliffe u ses the t o illustrate the effects of these interruptions Being that there is no line of Thus such a narrative break increases linguistic confusion, and requires added redundancy to get back on track. Figuratively, I would argue that this phrase comments on language reform, and more literate linguistic 87 Ong, Orality a nd Literacy 40; Patrick Colm in Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text ed. Charles Bazerman (New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008), 193
35 she is certainly invested in a rational linguistic code that is well ordered and precise, she seems to be acutely aware of how such a position contradicts her benevolent and sympathetic portrayals of rural culture and citizens. Unlike the two extremes that either divided. This is further exemplified in the importance she gives the semi literate characters in plot development, while simultaneously caricaturing them in comically belittling ways. The semi literate characters have a particular way of telling their stories, and despite all of the literate list (145). The fact that there is a specific In The Italian (107). Similarly, w hen Ellena interrupts the peasant guide he responds (262). Later, when Ellena hysterically demands that Beatrice tell her if Vivaldi has been injured, Beatrice insists, ome to the right place, Signora (374). I n Udolpho Annette often replies to questions (250). Additionally, when Emily insists that Annette tell (251). The difference between the linguistic habits of the semi l iterate characters, and the linguistic expectations of their literate listeners, is a fundamental difference in how story contrived narrative as typically designed in a
36 88 89 90 91 92 narratives is the result of a difference of focus. As where literary narratives emphasize racters), the the action preceding 93 In the above examples, the servants and peasants cannot skip ahead to the details that the literat es are asking for, because there is a temporal order to their narrative that frustration felt by the literate listeners is not because the story lines have no order, b ut rather because they do not have the right order for an Enlightened audience that expects well organized and precise linear plots. In Romance Radcliffe most explicitly demonstrates that this is a difference of storytelling method Early in the novel, P 88 Ong, Orality and Literacy 1 42 89 Ibid., 143 90 91 Ong, Orality and Literacy 140 92 Ibid., 140 93 Reiner Broadside Ballad and Folksong: Oral Versus Literary Tradition Folklore Forum 8 (1975): 326
37 quickly interrupted by La Motte who threatens to give him a drubbing if he does not linear, seemingly tive, the reader is led to believe that what will temporal timeline despite repeated pl technique and foc us. ideology bent on identifying the enlightened from the unenlightened. The increased popularity of etymology could be read in this vein as a concerted attempt to ident ify the relative position of populations on their march towards enlightened civilization. to 94 ch aracter tries to make sense of a story through the repeated use of pointed questions, 94 Katherine e Stopgap : Historical Reality, Literary Realism, and Oral Culture Eighteenth Century Fiction 22 (2009): 124
38 e 95 ed nation, but as the Acquiring it socially empowers the individual, and standard izing it will socially empower the nation. the story can progress conventionally. Scholars have spent considerable time discussing oral memory, and have argued that it wo rks differently from literate memory. For example, Ong explains that literate cultures memorize text verbatim and often expect oral cultures to do the same. However, the lack of codified texts in oral cultures makes it difficult to verify that one is remem bering something verbatim. J. Peter Denny 96 What is valued therefore is not the ability to remember an original story verbatim, but rather to be abl e to refashion an old story for a particular audience. It 97 And it is in a print culture that 95 Crowley, Language in History 63 96 Peter J. and Literate Decontextualization in Literacy and Oralit y ed. David R. Olson and Nancy Torrance (Cambridge: Cambridge: University Press, 1991), 78 97 Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy 133
39 verbatim mem ory is valued. Although Radcliffe gives her servants and peasants linguistic habits more characteristic of orality than literacy, she must sacrifice their memory for the sake of the story, and so she has them recite verbatim the dialogue that takes place a round them. For example, when Peter recounts to La Motte the events of the blacksmith, he repeats word for word the dialogue between himself and the two other men, saying: the neighbourhood? I came here twenty six years ago, come next St. Michael, and you (50). A similar recitation is present in Udolpho have told her, and her own conversations with others. For example she narrates to Emily a conversation she and Ludovico had regarding Montini, saying: natured speech of and if one speaks to him, he does not hear; and then he sits up counseling so, of a night, with other signors there they are till long past midnight, This continues for some time and not present in any of the conversations between the semi literate and literate characters in The Italian 98 This may 98 It does arise however, towards the end of the novel in the narrative presented by Ansaldo to the inquisitor. This scene, a practical means to further the plot line.
40 nuances of linguistic practices. Though verbatim memory is most likely a compromise Radcliffe was willing to make for plot development, its presence in semi literate characters, particularly in its use to relay information to literate characters, may also be read as the influence of a literate culture on an oral culture. As Ivan Illich argues, the means othe 99 That semi literate or non literate rural laborers would have known the value of verbatim memory, is not of lite rate linguistic habits. If Radcliffe gives these characters cultural capital with one hand, by imbuing them with an understanding of the linguistic value of verbatim memory, she takes it away with the other by making them superstitious. For example in Rom ance Peter suspects a dichotomizes epistemology along class lines in her discussion of the residents, saying that among this been observed at the abbey, and uncommon noises heard; and though this report had been ridiculed by sensible persons as the idle superstition of ignoranc e, it had fastened so strongly upon the minds of the common people, that for the last seventeen years o a staple of laboring class epistemology in Udolpho Annette tells Emil y several times how 99 Ivan A Plan for in Literacy and Orality ed. David R. Olson and Nancy Torrance (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press), 29
41 Annette herself subscribes to such superstitions, o a less rational oral culture whose superstitious beliefs threaten the progress of a nation invested in a scientific epistemology. Importantl y, Paulo in The Italian is in large part a deviation from her earlier trope roles, Radcliffe portrays Paulo as anchored in rationality and his master as susceptible altogether indisposed to attribute to a supernatural cause the extraordinary occurrences estigate o Later
42 nnette and Peter who quickly turn to superstition, Paulo looks for rational explanations in seemingly dichotomously classed portrayals of language and reason in Romance a nd Udolpho and illustrates that Radcliffe recognizes that superstition cuts across class lines. The comic use of these scenes is also interestingly reversed so as to be pointed at the master instead of the servant. In Romance and Udolpho the masters are often made to laugh at the hastily superstitious assertions of their servants. Our identification as readers in these scenes is with the masters, and so we too laugh at the irrationality that leads Peter to talk of ghosts, and Annette of apparitions. But i n The Italian the comedic aspect of these scenes operates differently. La Motte and Emily were able to laugh freely at Peter and Annette because of their superior class status. But Paulo is a laboring class character. Having him openly laugh at the aristoc ratic Vivaldi would be inappropriate given the class hierarchy Radcliffe is invested in preserving. She therefore uses irony to draw out the comedy of these scenes. For example as Vivaldi and Paulo fumble through the darkness looking for the mystery figure Vivaldi instructs Paulo to y get locked inside a chamber, Paulo points out that he had warned Vivaldi to these types of dangers when he entreated him not to Buffo
43 rationality, the irony of these statements is that Vivaldi, not Paulo, is in fact the buffoon, and his superstition the nonsense. Importantly, like in Romance and Udolpho Radcliffe uses comedy to criti que epistemologies not rooted in reason. But her significant shift in how comedy functions, demonstrates her investment in a behavioral code based on a class hierarchy. s in Romance and Udolpho. The redundant and repetitious linguistic habits of the servants are consistent in all their conversations. Although Radcliffe does portray Paulo that it is not part of his linguistic habit (80). This scene takes place in the locked chamber in Paluzzi, as Vivaldi and Paulo discuss the order of the Black Penitents. Paulo begins to recount a story he had heard about a particular monk who entered the c onfessional muffled up to his head in clothing so as to shield his face. Such shielding was not necessary, Paulo explains because it was so dark in the church. He side tracks his story momentarily to explain why it was dark, but is interrupted by Vivaldi w recollect where I lost it. Oh! At the steps of the confessional; -The Stranger knelt t differs from the responses of Peter, Annette, Beatrice, and the peasant guide when they are interrupted. linearity to his story. Instead he agrees that he has run off track. Moreover, he does not utilize redundancy or repetition to help him return to the thread of his story. In a striking
44 deviation from the linguistic habits of the other servants, Paulo pauses linguistically to recollect where he was. This is markedly r Several questions from Vivaldi, and a variety of mysterious sounds go on to interrupt and each time he effortlessly resumes his n arrative without redundancy or repetition. and is most notable in how he reacts to interjected questions. The exchange regarding the mysterious monk goes on for some t ime, and Paulo is interrupted several times by (81). Instead of claiming that h e has not yet gotten to that point, or that Vivaldi shall hen Vivaldi asks him to proceed, he picks up where he left off, linguistic habit characteristic of a literate culture trained to look for a line of continuity in a printed text. For an oral culture with no line of continuity outside the mind of the story teller, responding to interjected questions would severely affect the continuity o f the original story. Thus Peter, Annette, Beatrice, and the peasant guide are unable to respond to pointed question that interrupt the flow of their narratives. meant to dr aw laughter from the audience. But unlike the other characters, the source of
45 expression of his intense emotion. It becomes increasingly clear as the novel proceeds that a di For example when Vivaldi gets arrested by the inquisition, the narrator tells us that Paulo vociferates on go shares with the Signor in all his troubles? This is not a place to come to for pleasure, I warrant; and I can promise ye, gentlemen, I would not have come within a hundred released without Vivaldi, his anger erupt s and despite pleas for him to speak in a word I say shall ring in the ears of all those old black devils on the benches yonder; aye, and those on that mountebank stage too, that sit there looking so grim and angry as if socially inappropriate and imprudent given particular situations. avior in cant how rash, indiscrete, and inconsiderate such displays of emotion are. Like Tere
46 100 linguistic code is already literate, so there is no need to direct him towards things like less redundancy and more focus. But his extravagant emotion is less gentrified and polite. Radcliffe thus sets her servants along a continuum of civilization, where Paulo is more civilized than Peter and Annette, but still less civilized than L a Motte, Emily and, in certain respects, Vivaldi. compared with more appropriate displays first two novels. In Romance and Udolpho the dichotomous portrayal of class, language, and reason allowed for the reader to identify with, and only with, the literate characters. By presenting these qualities in more diversified ways in her last novel, comic focus is on reason, and the reader emotional expression, and Paulo is portrayed as a buffoon whose lack of social tact produces socially inappropriate emotiona 100 McIntosh, Evolution of English Prose vii
47 epistemological, like Peter and Annette, or behavioral others. Her portrayal of Paulo indicates that in her later novels, R adcliffe is perhaps more interested in exploring the nuanced linguistic habits of the laboring classes. Rather than presenting literacy and orality in dichotomously classed ways, in The Italian Radcliffe presents multiple linguistic habits among the labori ng class, imbues a servant with reason while making his master superstitious, and avoids unrealistic verbatim recitations. Paulo, though lacking the social breeding to fully utilize his literate linguistic habits, is representative of the laboring class on e step closer towards civilization. It is unclear why Radcliffe deviated from her tropes in The Italian It is possible that as she matured as an author, she chose to undertake a more detailed and complex portrayal of linguistic habits. Or perhaps she felt bored with the trope she had been using and felt that it was time to portray a main servant character in a different light. It is also possible that her lengthy journey through Holland and Germany in 1794 made her more aware of the cultural and linguistic range found in rural populations. Ann Radcliffe was a notoriously private person. Even early biographers had trouble compiling information to the circle of domestic 101 Had she kept journals like Frances Burney it would be possible to make a more educated guess. Regardless of why she chose to deviate from her earlier trope, the shift is present, and it strongly counteracts critics who label her writ ing and characterization as homogeneous. 101 Ann Radcliffe, The Posthumous Works of Anne Radcliffe: Comprising Gaston de Blondeville, a is Prefixed a Memoir of the Authoress, With Extracts From her Private Journals V.1 ., (London, 1833), 3 HathiTrust.com
48 CHAPTER 4 ANN RADCLIFFE AND RO MANTICISM ofte n been linked to the early Romanticism of the 1790s, and to the work of poets such as William Wordsworth. Although Wordsworth himself had considered gothic literature twe to gothic writers like Ann Radcliffe. 102 Although most critics have focused on their nature writing, I would argue that there are profound similarities between their treat ments of from Radcliffe. As I have tried to show, Radcliffe utilizes language representatively, to n language itself. Interestingly, despite differences in authorial intent, both present a split image of these populations, romanticizing an idealized form of rustic life while simultaneously demoting their linguistic codes. In the last decade of the eig hteenth century, Wordsworth distanced himself from the language theory of the previous sixty years. Unlike Rousseau and Sheridan who felt that emotions and passions were inexpressible in writing, Wordsworth was committed to 103 Preface to Lyrical Ballads expressed the desire to rehabilitate 102 Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads 128 103 Hudson, Writing and European Thought 143
49 104 W.J.B. Owen argues, is with creating a language that will withstand inevitable linguistic changes. 105 valleys and fields of Englan 106 In a radical break from efforts to gentrify and standardize the heteroglot elem Although Wordsworth claims to have adopted this language in Lyrical Ballads it was quickly noted by his contemporary Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and by literary critics and readers since, that his language is in fact far from the language spoken by the rural in dialect, or is strongly suggested by the fact that LB reflects only the linguistic codes of the literate class. This complete erasure of semi literate linguistic c odes allows Wordsworth to 107 Not only does this idealized displaces that reality to such an extent that it is complet ely forgotten. 108 104 Ibid., 147; Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads 124 105 W.J.B. Owen, to Lyrical Ballads (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1957). 106 Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads 130, 128, 124 107 Fielding, Writing and Orality 45 108 Ibid.
50 dualistic portrayal of benevolent characters with deficient language ensured that while one appreciated the idealized simple life style, one never forgot the reality of their linguistic inferiority. Given the association of lang uage with progress, this effectively completely divorcing the linguistic reality from his portrayal of these populations, Wordsworth is able to flip the implications o f language and progress. The literate cities become threatening influences on cultural and moral progress, while the idealized rural language, Radcliffe would have strongly disapproved of such an idealized (and unrealistic) portrayal, insofar as it completely occludes the superstitious epistemologies of rural populations. Radcliffe use of linguistic codes has been notably absent from scholarship devoted to her langu more than undeveloped flat characters whose buffoonish loquacity and speech provide an interlude of comedy among episodes of kidnap, imprisonment, and murder. Their speech patterns distinct ively reflect eighteenth century theories on language, and linguistically represent an irrationality that Radcliffe found profoundly threatening to individuals and to the British nation. Her simultaneous portrayal of these characters as benevolent and inte romanticize a style of life, while remaining acutely aware of its reality. Interestingly Wordsworth is able to divorce the idealization from the reality in a way that Radcliffe neither do es, nor would do, given her investment in Enlightenment values. Reading her texts in this way strongly suggests that Radcliffe was very much divided by
51 aesthetic appreciat ion of nature, she most likely was also strongly opposed to the reductionist nature of their idealization.
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58 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Samantha Plasencia received her Bachelor of Art s Degree s tudies, and English from Rutgers University in 2008. She received her Master of Arts in English l iterature at the Universit y of Florida in May 2011 and is currently working towards her doctorate at the University of Florida Her research interests include gender, genre, and the British novel 1660 1900. She has taught courses for the University Writing Program, including ENC110