Abstract

Both Charles Gildon and Laurence Sterne, authors associated with libertine ideas early in their careers, later used their fiction to distance themselves from materialist philosophy, creating influential characters in the process. Gildon satirized materialism by bringing coins to life in his object narrative The Golden Spy, while Sterne’s method was to reduce the humanity of characters such as Uncle Toby in Tristram Shandy to the level of hobby-horses and smoke-jacks. Together, these two disparate examples reveal the dangerousness of materialist ideas at this time as well as the cultural pervasiveness of materialist thinking in eighteenth-century Britain, as represented in canonical and non-canonical works.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-0243
Print ISSN
0840-6286
Pages
pp. 195-222
Launched on MUSE
2010-01-15
Open Access
No
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