Grandson's heirs : the paragon's progress in the late eighteenth-century English novel /
Gerald A. Barker.
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1985.
187 p. : ill.
More Details
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1985.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 173-182.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1985-11:
Barker's analysis of the influence of the fictional Sir Charles Grandison on Samuel Richardson begins with the observation that Grandison's perfection is irreconcilable with the demands of realism. The Grandisonian hero, therefore, demanded modification, increasing the freedom of those novelists who followed the tradition. One alteration involved placing the perfect hero in a supportive rather than primary role-a route taken by Frances Sheridan in Memories of Miss Sidney Bidulph and Fanny Burney in Evelina. Another mode involved showing the imperfections that hide beneath the veneer of a paragon-as in Elizabeth Inchbald's A Simple Story and William Godwin's Caleb Williams, where both Dorriforth and Ferdinando Falkland are originally virtuous but then degenerate in the face of worldly pressure. Frank Henly in Thomas Holcroft's Anna St. Ives is, on the other hand, the embodiment of the author's belief in human perfectability, surpassing Sir Charles and providing the model of a lower-class hero for emulation. Jane Austen's Darcy, of Pride and Prejudice, is depicted as an antihero who, through experience, emerges as a Grandisonian figure, while Knightly represents the lover as mentor, one aspect of Sir Charles. Readers may find points to argue with in Barker's assessments, but the book is useful in its attention to the undoubted influence of Richardson's ``good man.'' Index and bibliography. Recommended for graduate students and upper-division undergraduates.-E. Brophy, College of New Rochelle
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1985
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Unpaid Annotation
This book traces the progressive influence and changing manifestations of the Grandisonian hero through important late eighteenth-century novels: Frances Sheridan's Sidney Bidulph, Fanny Burney's Evelina, Elizabeth Inchbald's A Simple Story, William Godwin's Caleb Williams, Thomas Holcroft's Anna St. Ives, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

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