Reconcilable Differences in Eighteenth-Century English Literature

Synopsis

"The authors whose work Piper examines in this book might be understood nowadays as having a theoretical concern. Swift's Travels, Gay's Trivia, and Pope's Essay on Man are responses - or so Piper argues - to the question: What if nature is, as George Berkeley has asserted, strictly perceptual? Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho and Austen's Emma emerge from an intensification of the same question: What if, not only nature, but the people who inhabit nature, are also, as David Hume has asserted, strictly perceptual? Can we understand a strictly perceptual world? Can we - or how can we - live here?" "In this book Piper thus examines major works by Swift, Gay, Pope, Radcliffe, and Austen with the awareness of perceptualism that they must have possessed and describes the connections between their works and this philosophy." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved