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HUMANITIES 219 aspects of her life to be represented in terms revelatory of her as an individual subject and as a woman writer. The result is a complex and sophisticated narrative that prepares the reader to appreciate Fielding's irmovative teclmiques, most especially those relating to the quality most admired by contemporaries, her revelation of inwardness. In David Simple, the protagonist's pursuit of true friendship involves his 'seriously considering the Motives from which [his acquaintances] acted'; Volume the Last, published nine years later, reverses the fortunate conclusion of his search as David's extended family suffers unwarranted persecution. While the two novels differ in tone, the continuous refinement of Fielding's representation of character is observable in the latter work's detailed rendering of the tension between motive and action. Commentators have long been attentive to this gift, often describing it, as Richardson did in a letter to Fielding, through contrast with herbrother'5 work: 'His was but as the knowledge of the outside of a clock-work machine, while your's was that of all the finer springs and movements of the inside.' But such praise can obscure the compelling claims for attention to David Simple and Volume the Last as novels that document with extraordinary fidelity the conditions of mid-eighteenth-century life. The particularly awful plight of women is a recurring theme, but both works also offer insight into contemporary responses to emergent consumerism, to sexual mores and class relations, to the culture of sensibility, and to colonialism. The revival of interest in Sarah Fielding's writings over the last decade should be quickened by the publication of this important edition. It not only makes available the novel as she first wrote it, but also provides readers with the means more fully to understand and evaluate it. (APRIL LONDON) F.P. Lock. Edmund Burke. Volume 1." 1730-1784 Clarendon Press, xvi, 564. $2.17.5° P.P. Lock's Edmund Burke, volume 1 of a projected two-volume biography, is a work of admirable scholarship and one of the most important books ever written about Burke. Lock's mastery of both a diverse body of archival sources and the vast multidisciplinary range of secondary rnaterial relating to Burke is unequalled. He provides much new information, especially concerning Burke's Irish origins and early years in England. And, where his information is not in itself conclusive, he usually gives readers plausible grounds for judging how far it may be applied. This new biography will be indispensable for much future study relating to Burke. As a political biography, however, Lock's book does not rivat for example, John Ehrman's Younger Pitt. In one sense it does not seek to. Its chronological commitment is conSiderably greater, producing chapters in 220 LEITERS IN CANADA 1998 which encapsulated discussions ofparliamentarydebates aresucceeded by paragraphs recording changes in Burke's London address. A case can be made that in the current state of scholarship on Burke, a book of such dimensions is what we most need: an authoritative biographical guide which, rather than competing with speculative interpretations, provides grounds for evaluating them. But that organizational decision has a cost. Some issues need to be addressed within broad temporal contexts as well as narrow ones. Burke's idea of party, for example, incubated in his and his colleagues' frustrations with the behaviour of politicians who described themselves as the King's Friends. Lock examines Burke's response in relation to the First Rockingham Administration and then to his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, and readers can follow its implications well enough throughout the remainder of the volume. But that conception ofparty and Burke'sconductas a Rockingham Whig owe nearly as much to differences both with and from the Chathamites. Here the fragmentation ofthese differences among successive parliamentaryseasons obscures persisting issues which could have emerged from a broader examination of over a decade of failed attempts to act in united opposition. Attention to sQme of them might also have advanced Lock's declared aim of illuminating the mind which later conceived Reflections on the Revolution in France. One consequence, perhaps, of the relatively narrow focus of Lock's exposition is a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 219-221
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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