By J. E. Luebering
Cause, rationality, and reform have been maybe the most important buzzwords of the Enlightenment period and the subjects of a lot of the writing that seemed at the moment. As thinkers more and more all started turning a serious eye in the direction of permitted ideals and practices, such luminaries as Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine took up their pens to light up the social injustices and accidents to non-public freedom that pervaded their societies. The attention-grabbing lives of those writers and lots of others-running the gamut from novelists, dramatists, and poets to satirists, social critics, and more-are profiled inside of those pages.
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Jane Austen (as is so cogently famous during this quantity) received little become aware of or popularity in the course of her unfortunately brief lifestyles. Likewise, except her six novels and a few letters, little basic facts exists to enlighten her admirers. unluckily, it was once universal within the nineteenth century for households to burn all fabrics believed to be too own or too revealing.
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P. 113) We can compare with this the closing words of the extract from the Methodist preacher's journal: I was scourged, I was dragged through a horse-pond, I was drowned under a deluge from the pump-Nay, I have good reason to believe that more than one pistol was discharged at my head-but I survived all, and by the blessing of God was that night able to make a hearty supper and to sleep as soundly as ever I did in my life. My master ilVenged me in his own good time, about a fortnight after, I saw the dead body of Rhodes dragged out of his house, and with the rope that he had been hung with still round his neck-I beheld him flung into that very horse-pond where by his orders I had been nearly murdered.
But though Charlotte declared that she had more poetry in her than did the prosaic Jane Austen,14 she kept her poetry for her prose writing; it is interesting to compare the trite poems on Anne's and Emily's deaths with the infinitely more moving biographical notice in the preface to Wuthering Heights. 15 Anne's poetry cannot be dismissed quite so easily. l 6 The adaptation of some of her poems as hymns has hardly helped her reputation, although it is undoubtedly true that her use of religious imagery, her simple rhythms, and her preference for rhymes ending with an open vowel makes such an adaptation easy.
The discovery by Miss F. E. Ratchford that most of the poetry and prose written by the Brontes before the publication of the novels was not a series of disconnected fragments but parts of two enormous cycles of stories came at a time when there was a reaction against biographical and psychological studies, and Miss Ratchford's researches were eagerly seized upon as providing a different kind of clue to the Brontes. The inaccessibility of the widely scattered manuscripts has meant we have to rely for information about them upon those who, like Miss Ratchford, have published them; and those who have edited Bronte juvenilia are normally inclined to stress their literary value.
Authors of the Enlightenment: 1660 to 1800 (The Britannica Guide to Authors) by J. E. Luebering