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Literary RelationsKinship and the Canon 1660-1830$
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Jane Spencer

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199262960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199262960.001.0001

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Brothers, Sisters, and New Provinces of Writing

Brothers, Sisters, and New Provinces of Writing

(p.131) 3 Brothers, Sisters, and New Provinces of Writing
Literary Relations

Jane Spencer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

While paternal metaphors befit stories of the transmission of literary tradition, fraternal metaphors predominate at times of literary innovation. Through case studies of two sets of triangular literary relations - between Henry and Sarah Fielding and Samuel Richardson, and between William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge - this chapter argues that both the establishment of the novel as a serious genre and the inauguration of the Romantic revolution were events shaped by relationships combining biological brother-sister relations and literary brotherhood and sisterhood. It contrasts the place accorded the sister in the early novel tradition, as feminine fellow-practitioner and as weapon deployed by rival males, with her place within early Romantic discourse as a link to Nature and a source of matter to be shaped by a masculine poetic spirit.

Keywords:   fraternal, brotherhood, rival, innovation, novel, Romantic, brother-sister, Henry Fielding, Sarah Fielding, Samuel Richardson

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