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Literary RelationsKinship and the Canon 1660-1830$
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Jane Spencer

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199262960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199262960.001.0001

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Brothers, Sisters, and New Provinces of Writing

Brothers, Sisters, and New Provinces of Writing

Chapter:
(p.131) 3 Brothers, Sisters, and New Provinces of Writing
Source:
Literary Relations
Author(s):

Jane Spencer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199262960.003.0004

While paternal metaphors befit stories of the transmission of literary tradition, fraternal metaphors predominate at times of literary innovation. Through case studies of two sets of triangular literary relations - between Henry and Sarah Fielding and Samuel Richardson, and between William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge - this chapter argues that both the establishment of the novel as a serious genre and the inauguration of the Romantic revolution were events shaped by relationships combining biological brother-sister relations and literary brotherhood and sisterhood. It contrasts the place accorded the sister in the early novel tradition, as feminine fellow-practitioner and as weapon deployed by rival males, with her place within early Romantic discourse as a link to Nature and a source of matter to be shaped by a masculine poetic spirit.

Keywords:   fraternal, brotherhood, rival, innovation, novel, Romantic, brother-sister, Henry Fielding, Sarah Fielding, Samuel Richardson

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