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Things that didn't happen : writing, politics and the counterhistorical, 1678-1743

Author: John McTague
Publisher: Woodbridge ; Rochester, NY : Boydell Press in association with British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2019.
Series: Studies in the eighteenth century.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
James Francis Edward Stuart, the Prince of Wales born in 1688, was not a commoner's child smuggled into the queen's birthing chamber in a warming pan, but many people said he was. In 1708, the same prince did not quite land in Scotland with a force of 5,000 men in order to claim the Scottish crown, but writers busied themselves with exploring what would have happened if he had succeeded. These fictions had as potent  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
McTague, John, 1983-
Things that didn't happen.
Woodbridge ; Rochester, NY : Boydell Press in association with British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2019
(OCoLC)1089412878
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: John McTague
ISBN: 9781787445192 1787445194
OCLC Number: 1120125515
Description: 1 online resource (xi, 282 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Studies in the eighteenth century.
Responsibility: John McTague.

Abstract:

James Francis Edward Stuart, the Prince of Wales born in 1688, was not a commoner's child smuggled into the queen's birthing chamber in a warming pan, but many people said he was. In 1708, the same prince did not quite land in Scotland with a force of 5,000 men in order to claim the Scottish crown, but writers busied themselves with exploring what would have happened if he had succeeded. These fictions had as potent an effect on the political culture of late Stuart and early Hanoverian Britain as many events that really did happen. From the alleged "Popish Plot" of Titus Oates to the South Sea Bubble, John McTague draws on a rich variety of sources - popular, archival and literary - to investigate the propagandic and literary exploitation of three kinds of things that did not occur at this time: failures which inspired "what if" narratives, speculative futures which failed to come to pass and "pure" fictions created and disseminated for political gain. Finally, a ground-breaking reading of the various versions of Pope's Dunciad reveals a work that in its exploration of historic causation and agency and its repurposing of the material of contemporary political and literary culture deploys many of the strategies explored in earlier chapters to present Hanoverian reality as if it were counterhistory.

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