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Illusory consensus : Bolingbroke and the polemical response to Walpole, 1730-1737

Author: Alexander Pettit
Publisher: Newark, Del. : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Alexander Pettit analyzes the formation of and the reaction against the notion of a unified opposition to England's de facto prime minister Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745), the "great man" of Scriblerian satire who was reviled throughout the 1730s for his hostility to the belles lettres, his alleged disregard of the royal prerogative, and his concentration of power in an oligarchy of parliamentary "placemen." The  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Pettit, Alexander, 1958-
Illusory consensus.
Newark, Del. : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1997
(OCoLC)606102388
Online version:
Pettit, Alexander, 1958-
Illusory consensus.
Newark, Del. : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1997
(OCoLC)607725616
Named Person: Henry St John Bolingbroke, Viscount; Horace Walpole; Henry St John Bolingbroke, Viscount; Horace Walpole; Henry St John Bolingbroke; Horace Walpole
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alexander Pettit
ISBN: 0874135923 9780874135923
OCLC Number: 34410328
Description: 254 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Bolingbroke's Remarks on the History of England in the Craftsman and Elsewhere --
2. Bolingbroke's Analogic Historiography --
3. Squaring Off --
or Not --
over the Revolution of 1688 --
4. The Carolinist Challenge --
5. Carolinism and the Church: The Grub-street Journal and the Curious Case of Dr. Francis Hare --
6. Acting Out the Unstable Opposition.
Responsibility: Alexander Pettit.

Abstract:

Alexander Pettit analyzes the formation of and the reaction against the notion of a unified opposition to England's de facto prime minister Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745), the "great man" of Scriblerian satire who was reviled throughout the 1730s for his hostility to the belles lettres, his alleged disregard of the royal prerogative, and his concentration of power in an oligarchy of parliamentary "placemen." The discussion draws extensively on ephemeral plays, sermons, pamphlets, and newspapers that in their own day were regarded as significant contributions to the political debate. Pettit shows that the myth of coherent anti-Walpoleanism was promoted vigorously by Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751), cofounder of the popular opposition weekly, the Craftsman. But Pettit argues that much of the anti-Walpole literature of the 1730s responds anxiously to Bolingbroke's prescriptive theorizing and questions or criticizes the terms of his appeals to consensus. The opposition was fundamentally in disagreement about how to formulate its objection to modern government. Bolingbroke's reductive fantasy of the opposition has been regarded charitably by modern commentators, most of whom have chosen to regard the "print-wars" as the occasion for Bolingbroke's major political treatises or as background to the satire of his friends, the Scriblerians. This emphasis on a small and interconnected group of writers and sources, however, has caused scholars to neglect the opposition's diversity and its lack of coherence.

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