John Wilson (1785-1854) as critic
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This thesis has two main aims. First, to draw attention to the writings of a little- known literary critic. Second, to evaluate the writings of John Wilson in relation to the literature he loved, and the age in which he lived. The thesis is constructed in four parts: Part A is an introductory chapter which defines the enquiry of the thesis: the position of Wilson as a critic and the range of his criticism. Part B describes Wilson's life and background in two sections, his life up to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, and his life after Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in Edinburgh. Part C is an analysis of his critical theory, and the relation of romantic principle to literary criticism. Part D is an appraisal of his judgements and reviews, which are separated into three sections: English poets, Scottish poets, and the writings of Shakespeare. They are chosen to show the chronology of his critical development in relation to his intellectual growth. Each section is prefaced with an introduction and a conclusion and there is a final chapter and conclusion which is a summing up of the critical position. The bibliography is in three parts: 1. on texts and biographia (primary sources) 2. on criticism (secondary sources) 3. articles which have been consulted during the thesis. There is also an appendix which lists Wilson's contributions to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, in two parts: 1. assumed contributions between 1817-1825 2. contributions from 1826.
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