Abstract

The advent of ballooning in 1783 set off a frenzied public reaction in England and France, generating both hope and fear among the populace. This article argues that Elizabeth Inchbald’s play The Mogul Tale serves to at once harness and contain the instability triggered by balloonomania, staging the new technology before its audience in order to palliate their fears. The article closes by arguing that the end of the eighteenth century saw the emergence of scientific discourse as a decidedly public concept and that plays such as Inchbald’s constituted an essential element of the construction of this movement.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 521-538
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-06
Open Access
No
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