Chapter 5 continues the discussion of narrative art by examining the way in which exiled writers turn to history, especially the life-writing of Plutarch, as a way of fathoming the distance that exists between them and their estranged English audiences. Romantic-period debates about the role of the historian in re-animating the past and producing imaginative affect in the reader, as recently discussed by Mark Salber Phillips, are seen to have a correlative in the hybrid historical and dramatic forms of Byron’s Venetian plays Percy Shelley’s The Cenci and Charles the First, and Mary Shelley’s historiography in the Liberal, The chapter reconsiders the way the Pisan Circle draws on the Civil War period as a model of political and legal corruption, particularly in the shape of the infamous Star Chamber and the process of ‘the Question’
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