restricted access English Travel Narratives in the Eighteenth Century: Exploring Genres by Jean Vivies (review)
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174 erate’’—indicates that he used the word to mean unlearned, the only meaning given for the word in Johnson’s Dictionary. But most of the book is more carefully supported and crafted. Mr. Terry knows the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century anthologies, ‘‘lives,’’ critical works, and magazines very well, and he digests masses of information into highly readable chapters. In his provocative ‘‘Making the Female Canon,’’ he argues that while none of the four great collections of poets—John Bell’s (1776–1782), Johnson’s (1779–1781), Robert Anderson’s (1792–1795), Alexander Chalmers’s (1810)—contained poetry by a woman, the eighteenth century did not exclude women writers from the canon or ‘‘suppress’’ female literary voices. The latter point has been borne out by the recovery work of the last 25 years; the former depends more on one’s definitions. Mr. Terry beginshisbook with theacknowledgmentthatheintendstouse‘‘canon’’inits‘‘blandest sense as simply a list of books maintained by personal or public opinion tobeillustrious, rather than in the more ideologically hard-edged application of it as a corpus of texts accredited and promulgated by someforceofauthority(asschool,university,publishing house).’’ If a work can be canonized by ‘‘personal’’ opinion as well as ‘‘public’’ authority , the concept may have become too elastic to be helpful, but Mr. Terry’sargument concerning women writers does not depend on its total elasticity. What he means is that a female canon begins to take recognizable shape through the century, particularly from the 1750s through the 1770s. Although admittedly that canon is segregated and ‘‘feminized,’’ its emergence means for Mr. Terry that women poets were neither silenced nor taken lightly. He does concede, however, that the notion of ‘female creativity’’ becomes more than a little confining: ‘‘the female author seen as most ripe for canonization is a kind of Clarissa figure, sternly moral-minded, but also isolated and beleaguered, whose literariness is counterpart with, or even an expression of, her essential victimhood.’’ Not much in Mr. Terry’s final chapter, ‘‘Classicists and Gothicists,’’ will surprise scholars familiar with the improving fortunes of the Gothic in the later eighteenth century, but his survey is reliable, making much of this book a good account to recommend to newcomers. John Sitter Emory University BOOKS BRIEFLY NOTED* JEAN VIVIÈS. English Travel Narratives in the Eighteenth Century: Exploring Genres, trans. Claire Davison. Aldershot, England and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002. Pp. ix ⫹ 134. £37.50; $64.95. Recent studies of the eighteenthcentury novel have focused on the desire *Unsigned reviews are by the editors. to replace Watt’s Rise of the Novel (1957) with a theory-oriented narrative in tune with specialization and postmodernism. Unlike Percy Adams, whose 1983 Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel employed an unfashionable empirical method, Mr. Viviès brings Continental theory to Addison, Defoe, Sterne, Smollett , Johnson, and Wordsworth. Where 175 Adams showed ‘‘influence,’’ English Travel Narratives investigates issues of intertextuality, genre, unstable categories , ambivalences, tensions, and revision of historical periods—the usual postmodernist suspects. Mr. Viviès looks at travel literatureand novels in a narrow range from 1760 to 1780 (not strictly adhered to), revealing an archaeological approach that will appeal to a graduate seminar rather than the general reader (Alain Bony’s strained Preface focuses on Addison’s much earlier travel accounts as a crucial influence for subsequent eighteenth-century travel writing). In ‘‘The Vagaries of the Picaresque ,’’ Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722), Gil Blas (1715–1735), and Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749) receive attention. Curiously , Joseph Andrews, a novel structured as a travelogue, does not. While there is no doubt that the picaresque tradition became influential, the travelogue aspect of this type of story seems debatable . This chapter, while interesting,isfar from relevant to Mr. Viviès’s central thesis : ‘‘The purpose here is to combine and conflate texts frequently classified and categorized apart: Novels on one side, travel narratives on the other.’’ He finds blurred boundariesandunfixedtexts,‘‘no dichotomous divide . . . but rather a gradation ,’’ and many different prisms and problematical plots and structures. Concerning A Sentimental Journey, he affirms that ‘‘Sterne appears to break with the empiricist conventions of travel writing ’’ and thus produces a ‘‘radically innovative travelogue,’’ anticipating the Romantic movement. Thoroughly...