Posts tagged eighteenth century
Posts tagged eighteenth century
"A Family at Tea," attributed to Richard Collins, oil painting, c. 1727, possibly painted in Lincolnshire or Leicestershire, England.
I adore this painting so much that I just had to reblog it here on the journal’s Tumblr.
The philosophical novel traces its history back to the 4th century CE, and many people are familiar with 20th-century works such as Siddartha by Hermann Hesse. Voltaire is well known for his philosophical novels Candide (1759) and the work depicted here, Zadig (1747). Novelist’s Magazine published an English translation by Francis Ashmore in 1784, illustrated with this scene when Zadig rediscovers his former lover Astarté as she writes his name in the earth. The novel presents its eponymous protagonist as one of the first systematic detectives in Western literature, which might have inspired Poe and Conan Doyle in their writings (see Thomas Henry Huxley’s article).
Even earlier than Poe, William Godwin wrote one of the first novels that could be included in the detective fiction genre: Caleb Williams (1794). For more on this late 18th-century detective novel, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles, free to read on the journal’s archive:
Novelist’s Magazine is full of expressive, narrative engravings. I’m posting from this excellent resource over the next few weeks (maybe months: I adore these engravings). This one is found in Novelist’s Magazine, vol. 2, Containing “Solyman and Almena,” “The Vicar of Wakefield,” “Roderick Random,” “Zadig,” and “The Devil upon Two Sticks” (1780). Illustration from The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett, opp. p. 74.
Read more about Tobias Smollett and his writings in the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles, which are free to read at the journal’s online archive at Digital Commons:
“A View of the City of Carlisle” from Tobias Smollett, The Present State of All Nations, Containing a Geographical, Natural, Commercial, and Political History of All the Countries in the Known World (London, 1768), opp. 282; and “A View of Glasgow”, opp. 103. [An ambitious tome!]
For more on Tobias Smollett and his literary efforts, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles [free to read on the journal’s archive at Digital Commons]:
Three scenes from Le Sopha, conte moral (1742), by Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (1707-77). These engravings are from the 1749 edition, engr. P. Calavreau. This satirical reincarnation tale is told by a young courtier, whose cursed soul is reborn in a series of sofas. The narrator of this libertine novel cannot be reincarnated into a human body until two virginal lovers consummate their relationship on him.
For more on 18th-century French libertine literature (libertinage), see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
The Masters golf tournament just finished up on Sunday in Augusta, Georgia. Although Scottish golfers played the game for hundreds of years before the rest of the world caught on to its delights, one of the oldest golf clubs (aka “goff society”) in the world originated outside the city walls of London, England. The later Georgian period in London saw an enormous surge in the popularity of the Scottish sport, as evidenced by this print from 1790. “To the Society of Goffers at Blackheath,” engr. V. Green, painted L. F. Abbott, plate dedicated by Lemuel Francis Abbot.
To learn more about how people spent their leisure time in the 18th century, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
Mutton Pies! I bet that little dog ate well living in that particular kitchen. Even Samuel Johnson praised the humble mutton pie (for a traditional recipe, see the Great British Kitchen website). The details in this engraving fascinate me: check out the gigantic sword-knife tucked in the cook’s apron, and those extra spits racked above the fire. It’s difficult to see, but another dog runs in the wheel beside the hearth, turning the spits that hold all those birds and roasts: a turnspit dog. This image is from The Oxford Sausage; Or, Select Poetical Pieces, written by the most celebrated wits of the University of Oxford, adorned with cuts, engraved in a new taste, and designed by the best masters (1764), printed for J. Fletcher and Co., and sold by the booksellers of Oxford and Cambridge.
For more on food, cookery, and nourishment in the 18th century, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
Just had to reblog this amazing piece!
Mounted Ceramic Figures, Chinese porcelain, c.1622-1795, French flowers and mounts, 1740-45, Getty Museum. From the Getty:
French craftsmen combined diverse pieces of Chinese in an inventive arrangement to create these decorative groups. The two boys, originally freestanding porcelain sculptures, were known as the Immortal Twins; they were the patrons of Chinese potters and merchants. The so-called fo dogs are in fact Buddhist lions. These porcelain lions were originally fixed to the top of the porcelain rocks but are now separated by pierced porcelain spheres. The globe-shaped balls were used in China as pomanders, filled with flowers or solid balls of perfume.
A Parisian would have purchased the figures, the lions mounted on the rocks, and the spheres; he then directed French craftsmen to make a gilt bronze base cast with small lizards, snails, and shells. To establish a connection between the different parts, he directed the workmen to place the boys so that they seem to peer into the perfume balls; he added French porcelain flowers on gilt bronze branches to further adorn the design.
The original French owner of the groups would have appreciated the exotic decorations but would probably not have recognized their original Chinese function or significance.
A special issue of the journal Eighteenth-Century Fiction is devoted to “The Senses of Humour / Les Sens de l’humour”; find more details and the call for articles here: http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~ecf/CallArticles.html
The Pan-STARRS comet passes in view of northern hemisphere skywatchers this week, a magnificent sight, much like the return of Halley’s comet in 1759. Caroline Herschel discovered many comets during her astronomical studies in the late 18th century. This image, not exactly of Caroline Herschel but it made me think of her, is from Benjamin Martin (1705-82), The Young Gentleman and Lady’s Philosophy, in a continued survey of the works of nature and art; by way of dialogue. … Illustrated by … copper-plates. The second edition corrected, vol. 1, frontispiece (London: W. Owen), 1772. In a century that often discouraged women from studying and participating in the sciences, this book offers an open-minded attitude to educating all young people.
For more about women and science in the 18th century, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
George Morland (1763-1804), Selling Cherries (1801)
What a pleasant family scene: mom and dad and the kiddies out in the front yard, buying fruit from a passing vendor. Even the dog wants to try a freshly picked red cherry. The aquatint engraving from 1801 shows an idyllic version of family life in the long eighteenth century, although some drama is developing in the bottom right corner between two siblings.
For more on the eighteenth-century family, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles, including the special issue called “Fiction and the Family”:
G. Morland, The Labourer’s Luncheon
Thanks to some excellent assistance in the McMaster University Research Collections, I found a few colourful plates from the eighteenth century to photograph. This is “No. 8” in a series by George Morland (1763-1804) called The Labourer’s Luncheon. No. 8 The Labourer’s Luncheon was published on 20 Dec. 1797, engraved by C. Tosi, printed by I.R. Smith in London. That dog is waiting for any little crumb to fall, watching so intently.
To learn more about labourers and the trades in the eighteenth century, please read the special issue of the McMaster University journal Eighteenth-Century Fiction, entitled “Trades/Le Négoce.” This special issue is free to read on the journal’s archive at Digital Commons @ McMaster: ECF vol. 23, no. 2.
Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews
Cervantes’s Don Quixote influenced many great writers. Last week, I shared an image from Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote. This week, the engraving pictures a scene from Henry Fielding’s novel Joseph Andrews, or The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams, written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote (1742). Fielding mentions his debt to Cervantes right in the subtitle. As a premier example of the picaresque and definitely a novel of the road, I wonder if Jack Kerouac’s readers would recognize his progenitor here?
See another engraving from Joseph Andrews on this blog: May 22, 2012, Plate 3 highlights how the artist Rowlandson portrays intense action in his illustrations.
To read more about Henry Fielding and his novel Joseph Andrews, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles on the free-to-read Digital Commons archive:
Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote
Many people have heard of the famous Don Quixote, a noble character tilting at windmills in the early seventeenth-century novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Few people outside eighteenth-century studies have heard of The Female Quixote (1752), a novel by Charlotte Lennox, wherein she parodies the ideas and themes in The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (1605, 1615). A witty commentary on romance tales, some critics mark Lennox’s work as one of the defining novels that shaped the genre in the eighteenth century.
To read more about Charlotte Lennox and her novels, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles for free on the journal’s archive:
Bonus posting this week: more portraits, all women (the long eighteenth century could include Mary Shelley, couldn’t it? Frankenstein was published anonymously in 1818).
To learn more about these authors, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles: