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I Hope I Don't IntrudePrivacy and its Dilemmas in Nineteenth-Century Britain$
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David Vincent

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198725039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198725039.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 March 2021

The Spirit of Inquiry

The Spirit of Inquiry

(p.117) 6 The Spirit of Inquiry
I Hope I Don't Intrude

David Vincent

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the virtue and pleasure of curiosity as a growing characteristic of the age. It examines the growth of the flâneur, and of public guides to urban cultures, following the success of Egan’s Life in London. In addition to curiosity as a form of entertainment, it considers the practice as a moral and political necessity in the emerging political culture of late Georgian and Victorian Britain. Paul Pry became part of the more democratic political discourse at the national and local level, taking the Poor Laws as a particular example. The final section examines the career of the last great caricaturist William Heath, who used Paul Pry as his nom de plume for the final flourishing of the genre in the late 1820s. The chapter concludes with a reassessment of Jurgen Habermas’s influential account of the rise and fall of the public sphere.

Keywords:   flâneur, curiosity, Pierce Egan, political discourse, political inquiry, caricature, Cruikshank brothers, William Heath, Habermas, public sphere

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