The Ideology of Sensibility in Della Cruscan Poetry and the 18th Century Media.
22 , 2017-12 , 徳島大学総合科学部
The boom of Della Cruscan poetry which developed on the pages of the British daily newspaper, The World, in the late 1780s is a remarkable phenomenon in many ways. First, it is notable as a media phenomenon made possible by the development of print media and journalism in which anonymous writers, both men and women, contributed their poems thereby forming a dramatic discourse. The discourse thus formed was one that every reader felt participating in. It is comparable to modern discourses on the Internet in which a phenomenon called viral takes place, where a YouTube or Twitter site have access from a huge multitude of media audience in a very brief period. Second, as a literary history of Sensibility which is known for Gothic and sentimental novels and verse that prepared the way for Romanticism and its major writers like Wordsworth and Byron. Third, in its ideological aspect pertaining to the discourses in feminism and revolution, as many women contributed to the newspaper as writers and as readers, which invited censure from conservative critics, also as many of the chief contributors to the Della Cruscan poetry were sympathetic to the cause of the French Revolution, which was alarming the conservatives as well. This paper aims to show that those three aspects were inseparably involved in its discussions on how the media, the sentiment, the literary expression, and the ideology interacted each other. Those relationships will reveal a particular history of ideas in the late 18th century that seems to have been erased in the later accounts of the literary history of the 18th century and the Romanticism, as we see in the neglect of a great number of important women writers active in those periods.