Auerbach, Nina. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Baillie, Joanna. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. Barbauld, Anna Laetitia. Edited by Fiona Robertson. Oxford: Oxford University Press. London: John Bell. Bloom, Harold. London: Oxford University Press. Bolton, Betsy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brewer, William. Brewer, Wilmon. Shakespeare's Influence on Sir Walter Scott. Burroughs, Catherine B. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Cox, Jeffrey N. Seven Gothic Dramas, Athens: Ohio University Press. Gilbert, Deirdre. Gough, Monica, ed. Fanny Kemble, Journal of a Young Actress. New York: Columbia University Press. Greig, James A. Francis Jeffrey of The Edinburgh Review. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. Jeffrey, Francis. Marchand, Leslie A.
Byron's Letters and Journals. Newlyn, Lucy. Noble, Aloma E.
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Shakespeare, William. The Norton Shakespeare. New York and London: W. Slagle, Judith Bailey. Joanna Baillie: A Literary Life. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Slagle, Judith Bailey, ed. The Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie. Sterne, Laurence. Tristram Shandy. Edited by Howard Anderson. Wordsworth, Jonathan, ed. Introduction to Poems, Oxford and New York: Woodstock. Joanna Baillie.
A poet, playwright, and theatre theorist, Baillie was the child of enlightenment parents, the niece of the famous Hunter physicians, the sister of Dr. With little formal schooling, she taught herself the fundamentals of drama by reading indiscriminately, acting out parts, and attending plays. And for her early dramatic experience, she thanked Shakespeare. Like other Romantic women writers, Baillie sought to balance what she had inherited from the past with a fresh perspective and a personal artistic identity.
The result of such unification was clearly an artistic anomaly — a woman writer whom Scott deemed in Marmion our "own Shakespeare" Scott , In the Preface to Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception , Lucy Newlyn defines what she calls the complicated series of intersecting concerns for English Romantic writers, which include: the equivocal relationship between a writer and his or her audience during the age of criticism; the ways in which writers construct an authentic identity for themselves from the materials of the past, when the past's authority is under question; and the need to accommodate authorial rights alongside interpretative freedoms, at a time when the emerging power of the subject is politically and philosophically desirable, but contentious.
Newlyn , vii Further, Newlyn argues, while Harold Bloom's focus on authority, tradition, and canon formation have " celebrated " the " anxiety of influence ," he lays " emphasis on one side of the polarity, writer-reader, and works in a single temporal direction," subsequently " ignoring the duality of the writing-reading subject, who looks both before and after" Newlyn , vii. An additional emphasis on the writing-reading subject also leads to implications regarding the " anxiety of reception " and the " divided self ," the condition that R.
Laing defined as an individual's personality "profoundly modified even to the point of threatened loss of. For purposes of this discussion, I am most interested in employing three parameters that Newlyn outlines in order to interpret 1 how Baillie responded to the critical audience who insisted on aligning her with Shakespeare, 2 how she "re-places" Shakespeare with her dramas and 3 how, in the face of the "rise of the reader" in early nineteenth-century Britain, she constructed her own identity from Shakespeare's plays and from other materials of the past.
As Newlyn suggests, male Romantic writers were less burdened with the past than they were " preoccupied with the combined threats of modernity and futurity. Romantic women writers were far less concerned about threats of futurity, but Baillie did address concerns about the quality of past and present playwrights in her "Introductory Discourse" to A Series of Plays: in which it is attempted to delineate the stronger passions of the mind, each passion being the subject of a tragedy and a comedy : [I]n presenting to us those views of great characters, and of the human mind in difficult and trying situations, which peculiarly belong to Tragedy, the far greater proportion, even of those who may be considered as respectable dramatic poets, have very much failed.
Baillie , 8 1. What Baillie hoped to accomplish was a more realistic, characteristic drama than that promoted by Shakespeare and earlier dramatists and by her peer Richard Brinsley Sheridan and his Drury Lane company. What she did accomplish, I argue, was the development of strong women characters — justifiably wary of relationships with men — and of psychologically motivated characters, often obsessive and violent. Certainly, something she accomplished as well was a wish stated in her "Introductory Discourse": "It was the saying of a sagacious Scotchman," writes Baillie, "'Let who will make the laws of a nation, if I have the writing of its ballads'" Baillie , While she never realized the level of dramatic representation that Shakespeare enjoyed and enjoys, Baillie's poems and song lyrics, particularly her work with music collector George Thomson, proved a considerable legacy for her native Scotland.
In an memoir written for her nephew William Baillie, Joanna Baillie, then nearing her eighties, traced her initial interest in drama. First when we began, they all laughed without restraint at our strange appearance but, as I proceeded in my part, they became grave and ended by sheding [ sic ] tears, and this was a great triumph for me.
Every one praised me but my Mother who, very wisely did not like to give me any kind of encouragement. At another time too I acted Hamlet in the Ghost scene with great commendation. Slagle , 53 But Baillie's interest in drama had peaked even earlier, and she related that after her father's election to the Divinity Chair in Glasgow in , a gentleman of the town often stayed at the house of her friend Miss Graham and owned a copy of Bell's Theatre, with engravings of Shakespearean actors and actresses in stage costumes.
Even as an adult living in London, Baillie regularly documented in letters her presence at theatrical performances, often to see adaptations of Shakespeare's plays or to witness the debut of actor friends such as George and Sarah Bartley or Fanny Kemble. I was much disappointed. I ought not however to judge so severely from one character only, and my imperfect knowledge of the french language — or I should rather say my not being accustomed to hear it spoken prevents me from being sensible of many excellencies in speaking his part which others might be sensible of.
I suppose you know this French Play of Hamlet. Slagle , 4 This telling critique from a spectator and Romantic playwright implies that the Romantics were not necessarily anti-theatrical, but were moving toward a concept of dramatic experience as an intellectual and emotional engagement. And this modern audience was interested in the psychological responses of characters — just what Baillie was offering in her plays on passions — with added emphasis on women's position in society.
As Baillie's letters often describe performances she attended, most of them point to the theatrical Shakespeare, always fluid, rather than to the literary Shakespeare. On the other hand, she also attended private readings of Shakespeare by acting friends such as Sarah Siddons and George Bartley.
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That she was critical of both text and performance is revealed in such commentary. Baillie, a drama critic as well as a dramatist, during the last decade of the eighteenth century began to develop her own theory of tragedy and comedy based on human emotions, elemental instincts that had prompted Shakespeare's characters to action over two hundred years before — and she could not escape his early influence on her. Even if she had tried, critics and colleagues regularly reminded her of her debt.
While she admitted her poetical debt to Ossian and to Robert Burns, her Romantic "naturalness" was indeed fresh and original.
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Her dramatic writing, however, followed many of the themes of Shakespeare — love, hate, revenge, jealousy, ambition — but she defended and defined her focus on such passions in her "Introductory Discourse" to A Series of Plays , whereas Shakespeare was tacit about his scheme if, in fact, he had one. An explanation like Baillie's, after all, was not unusual for a Romantic writer embarking on a new venue, especially a woman writer: From that strong sympathy which most creatures, but the human above all, feel for others of their kind, nothing has become so much an object of man's curiosity as man himself.
Every person who is not deficient in intellect, is more or less occupied in tracing among the individuals he converses with, the varieties of understanding and temper which constitute the characters of men. If man is an object of so much attention to man, engaged in the ordinary occurrences of life, how much more does he excite his curiosity and interest when placed in extraordinary situations of difficulty and distress? It is not merely under the violent agitations of passion, that man so rouses and interests us; even the smallest indications of an unquiet mind.
Baillie , , 5 This desire, as Baillie says, "to know what men are in the closet as well as in the field" is the same fascination that Shakespeare counted on for an audience watching Macbeth, Hamlet or Othello agonize over and lose control of their passions. Unfortunately, the term "closet dramatist" has often been misused in relation to Baillie; while she focuses on passions that men might display in their "closet," that is, in private , she clearly intended her plays for the stage and repeatedly noted her disappointment at seldom being represented there.
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Privy to the medical scholarship of her famous uncle John Hunter and the work of his older brother William Hunter, whom she never met , Baillie was also familiar with the medical studies of her brother Dr. Matthew Baillie; and her plays, argues Alan Richardson, rely "on the new neurophysiology summarized four years earlier by her brother in the Gulstonian lectures" Richardson , Baillie, then, succeeded in combining Shakespeare's genius with the psychological and neurological studies of her day to create volatile characters often destroyed by their own unhealthy minds — not only by their external circumstances.
Nevertheless, if Baillie repeated the themes of Shakespeare, they were themes unoriginal to him as well, for even he had been accused of copying from romances, earlier tragedies, and historical chronicles. Baillie's critics, however, suggested that she should strive to become even more like the earlier playwrights.
While the act of borrowing from previous literary works prevailed from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century, explains Laura Rosenthal, "dramatic writing [still] raises particular ambiguities of intertextuality and originality" : "As a commercial genre, theater had since the Renaissance been under some pressure to offer something that the audience had not seen the previous week; still, retelling familiar stories had also been customary and rarely understood as plagiarism" Rosenthal , 7. Baillie, who had grown up reading early dramas, could not escape the "retelling" of familiar stories enhanced by her own philosophical bent.
Renaissance influence was probable, but in an original and systematic way, she strove to analyze the human passions in her own way — with Shakespeare as signifier in the Romantic theater and literature. I might forget the dialogue in which it was displayed and could not therefore make a truthful anecdote of it, but the trait itself remained perhaps for ever. In the early nineteenth century, two critical giants had emerged to review the magnitude of published material being introduced to the reading public: The Edinburgh Review and the Quarterly Review.
If Baillie did not feel justifiably threatened by the critics early on, she certainly did after the emergence of her third volume of A Series of Plays Shortly before Scottish reviewer Francis Jeffrey attacked Baillie's third volume, he had noted in , after the success of her Family Legend , that "Southey, and Wordsworth, and Coleridge, and Miss Baillie have all of them copied the manner of our old poets; and, along with this indication of good taste, have given great proofs of original genius" quoted in Greig , In February the Edinburgh Review printed his remarks: It is now, we think, something more than nine years since we first ventured to express our opinion of Miss Baillie's earlier productions; and to raise our warning voice against those narrow and peculiar views of dramatic excellence, by which, it appeared to us, that she had imprudently increased the difficulties of a very difficult undertaking.
Notwithstanding this admonition, Miss Baillie has gone on as we expected in her own way; and has become as we expected both less popular, and less deserving of popularity, in every successive publication. Miss Baillie, we think, has set the example of plays as poor in incident and character, and as sluggish in their pace, as any that languish on the Continental stage, without their grandeur, their elegance, or their interest; and, at the same time, as low and as irregular in their diction as our own early tragedies, — and certainly without their spirit, grace, or animation.
Jeffrey , While Jeffrey's "as we expected" condemned Baillie for what he clearly considered her "unfeminine" independence, his criticism that her plays were "poor in incident and character" was not unlike the criticism he leveled toward other successful playwrights of the time. He moved on to give Baillie some praise but focused on non-threatening traits such as her pleasing lyrical verse and her intelligent morality. I speak feelingly on this subject like a burnt child.
John any-body would have stood higher with the critics than Joanna Baillie.
I too was unwisely thwarted on this point. He was proved devastatingly wrong less than three years later as jihadists seized the Iraqi city of Mosul.
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Sicos De Glam Rock,? And Lighting, The Squares, Streets, And Lanes by See Notes Multiple Contributors The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press.
From A. Latin Edition by Claudianus Osbern This is a reproduction of a book published before Volume 2 Of 3 by See Notes Multiple Contributors The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press.
The C. Copyright - Antoine Online - All rights reserved. Garnier, Richard. Grigson, Catherine. Liverpool UP, Harris, Katherine D. Le Faye, Deirdre. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Levy, Michelle. William McCarthy and Olivia Murphy. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, McCarthy, William.
Anna Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, Regina L. Romantic Circles July Mee, Jon. Conversable Worlds: Literature, Contention, and Community — Murray, John. Andrew Nicholson. Rodgers, Betsy. Georgian Chronicle: Mrs.
Barbauld and Her Family. Russell, Gillian and Clara Tuite, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Saglia, Diego. Lilla Maria Crisafulli and Keir Elam. Farnham: Ashgate, Dorothy McMillan. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Scott, Sir Walter. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co. The Letters of Sir Walter Scott. Sir Herbert Grierson. London: Constable, — Slagle, Judith Bailey. Stabler, Jane. Sterling, Albert Mack.
The Sterling Genealogy. New York: The Grafton Press, Further Letters of Joanna Baillie , edited by McLean, adds another letters in chronological order. Subsequent references to these volumes appear as CL or FL. See Carhart —30, —2. In Hans-place, aged 62, James Stirling, esq. Baillie mentions only four daughters because the eldest, Mary born , had died in , and the third daughter, Anna — , had married her cousin George Stirling of Cordale — Corroborative information gathered from Ancestry.
Her brother Matthew Baillie had been elected president in Lawrence appears among the subscribers, but if he contributed a poem, it has not yet been identified. This is, however, the last surviving letter Baillie wrote to Mackenzie, and he is noticeably lacking from the list of subscribers. Her two letters on the topic appear in Rodgers — See also McCarthy —64, and Levy.
Edinburgh: John Ballantyne, If Baillie visited Margaret Stirling during her holiday, she makes no mention of it in surviving letters. See, for instance, the Huntington Library copy, which was previously owned by the American Unitarian minister Orville Dewey. This suggests that the page was added to leftover copies that were sold later see following footnote. There was one serious error in the subscription.
Baillie had ordered copies for subscribers in India , but the actual number was minimal. In , through the assistance of Andrews Norton, 50 copies were offered for sale in Boston, though ten years later the bookseller still had 39 copies left CL , William B.