The afterlife of character, 1726-1825 /
David A. Brewer.
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c2005.
262 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0812238648 (cloth : alk. paper)
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series title
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c2005.
0812238648 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [207]-251) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-12-01:
Literary criticism has come a long way since the new critics, and Brewer's analysis of virtual reading communities seems the logical extension of the postmodern interest in relationships between author, text, and reader. Like H. L. Jackson's Romantic Readers: The Evidence of Marginalia (CH, Nov'05, 43-1339), this book focuses on reader response to texts. Brewer (Ohio State Univ.) is particularly interested in how fictional characters develop a life and following outside the works and the control of the authors that created them. The impact of Pamela or Tristram Shandy on the reading public of their time is familiar, but Brewer illuminates how Richardson and Sterne attempted to control and benefit from this textual extraterritoriality. He argues that a community of readers and an imaginative expansion of literary characters developed in the 100-year period after 1726 and that such a community would have been impossible earlier due to political factionalism. Both scholarly and readable, Brewer's discussion of reader response and augmentation is not only interesting but also surprisingly illuminating about the literary aspects of the texts themselves. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. H. Benoist Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio
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Choice, December 2005
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Table of Contents
Cottagers upon the textual commons, an introductionp. 1
The invention of the fictional archivep. 25
Visualization, theatricality, famep. 53
Character migration, detachability, old friendsp. 78
Lewd engraftments and the Richardsonian coterie publicp. 121
Shandyism and the club of true feelersp. 154
Scott's parental interest, an afterwordp. 189
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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