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The Juvenile TraditionYoung Writers and Prolepsis, 1750–1835$
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Laurie Langbauer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739203.001.0001

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Leigh Hunt and Education

Leigh Hunt and Education

“School-Terms and a Juvenile Time of Life”

(p.129) 4 Leigh Hunt and Education
The Juvenile Tradition

Laurie Langbauer

Oxford University Press

Leigh Hunt explicitly located his juvenilia within the context of educational reform of his times. Education was central to debates about class and literacy, and also juvenile writing. Classical grammar-school education had for centuries trained schoolboys in prolespsis and epitrope, rhetorical strategies they learned to employ for their own ends. During this period, juvenile writing, recognized through Latin verse anthologies and Latin prizes, extended to vernacular school magazines and undergraduate English poetry prizes. The new monitorial educational systems of Andrew Bell and Joseph Lancaster also seized the imagination (pro and con) of Romantics including Wordsworth, Southey, and Hunt. Hunt’s literary juvenilia—his Juvenilia appeared in 1801 when he was sixteen—his later relation to the radical press, and, throughout his career, his continued understanding of writing in terms of education and youth exemplify the juvenile tradition as alternative and oppositional, understood in terms of the political—despite Charles Dickens’s attempt to paint Hunt otherwise.

Keywords:   Leigh Hunt, juvenilia, madras system, monitorial education, juvenile, Christ’s Hospital, prolepsis

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