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    Literary networks and the transmission of German literature and ideas by English Dissenters, Scottish lawyers, and Anti-Jacobins, 1756–1806

    Angerson, Catherine Jane (2023) Literary networks and the transmission of German literature and ideas by English Dissenters, Scottish lawyers, and Anti-Jacobins, 1756–1806. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    This thesis examines the role of literary groups and networks in the transmission of German literature and ideas in Britain in the second half of the eighteenth century. It investigates how particular groups responded to the works of German authors, their motivations for translating or promoting particular texts, and how their ideas were disseminated. Chapter 1 examines reviews and reviewers of German books in the liberal Monthly Review. Chapter 2 focuses on Scotland and the lawyers who learnt German in the 1790s in order to read the Sturm und Drang dramas of Goethe and Schiller. Chapter 3 examines translations of German books published by Joseph Johnson and the role of translators and Dissenting networks in the circulation of translated texts. The final chapter turns to the conservative writers of the Anti Jacobin Review and its weekly predecessor, who thought that German drama, philosophy and theology posed a threat to public morality, the established Church, and even the state. The thesis concludes that the motivation of the mediators was often to find intellectual support for their own side in an argument, particularly during the political debates in Britain following the French Revolution. English Presbyterians and Unitarians looked to German authors for philosophical arguments in support of their own demands for political reform and religious freedom. The Anti-Jacobins pitted patriotic support of the British war effort against the cosmopolitanism of the Dissenting publishers, translators and reviewers who promoted German books and plays to the public. The Scottish lawyers who celebrated and translated Schiller, on the other hand, do not fit neatly into this ideological battle. They were conservatives who saw Die Räuber (1781) as a dramatic case study in criminality which would arouse virtuous feelings in the audience. The thesis reveals national and regional variations in how German texts were received and transmitted.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 15:33
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 16:12
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/51416
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.18743/PUB.00051416

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