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Counterfactual Romanticism$
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Damian Walford Davies

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991418

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526107077

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Counterfactual speculations in late Romanticism: Scott, Banim, Galt and Mitford

Counterfactual speculations in late Romanticism: Scott, Banim, Galt and Mitford

Chapter:
(p.232) 8 Counterfactual speculations in late Romanticism: Scott, Banim, Galt and Mitford
Source:
Counterfactual Romanticism
Author(s):

Angela Esterhammer

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526107077.00014

This chapter identifies 1824 as a ‘crux in the history of factual and counterfactual writing’ – a moment when Walter Scott, John Banim, John Galt and Mary Russell Mitford choose a counterfactual turn at a time of ‘rampant speculation’ in the wider economic sphere. Revealing the varieties of ‘soft’ counterfactual speculation deployed by these authors – ranging from the uncanny interactions of history and fiction and Romantic-period time-travel ‘speculative fantasy’ to the ironic counterfactual effects of a literary miscellany and the interplay of documentary and idealising modes of writing place – the chapter shows how its chosen texts yield teasing metaperspectives on contemporary literary production, reading practices, the literary market and literary history.

Keywords:   Romantic counterfactualism, Counterfactual Romanticism, counterfactual speculations, speculation, counterfactual turn, John Banim, John Galt, Mary Russell Mitford, Walter Scott

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