restricted access From the Temple to the Castle: An Architectural History of British Literature, 1660–1760 by Lee Morrissey (review)
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195 larged by Jeremy Collier as The Great Historical, Geographical, Genealogical and Poetical Dictionary (1701), as well as other dictionaries, culminating in Alexander Chalmers’s The General Biographical Dictionary (1812–1817). A similar desire to provide information in an encapsulated form is outlined in Antonia Forster’s ‘‘Review Journals and the Reading Public,’’ covering such publications as the Monthly Review and Critical Review, which offered a guide to books worth buying and provided both extracts of the books themselves and evaluative commentary. Particularly useful to Scriblerian readers , Marcus Walsh’s ‘‘Literary Scholarship and the Life of Editing’’ offers an introduction to historical, textual, and philological scholarship in the eighteenth century, including transformations in the process of editing that led to the dustup between Pope and Theobald and provided the background for the mock scholarship in The Dunciad Variorum. As Mr. Walsh points out, Pope’s Shakespeare was but one title in Tonson’s backlist of English classics for which contemporary ‘‘editors’’ had been selected. Mr. Walsh too follows the economics of literary editing and the creation of a wider public demand for more carefully edited versions of English classics, focusing on the development of Shakespearean editing by Johnson, George Steevens, Edmond Malone, and Isaac Reed. In ‘‘The Production and Consumption of the Eighteenth-Century Poetic Miscellany ,’’ Michael F. Suarez provides a quick introduction to a popular form, the poetical miscellany, ‘‘which played such an important role in literary dissemination and consumption.’’Quite rightly,Mr. Suarez focuses on the widespread influence of Dodsley’s Collection of Poems, which was variously imitated, pilfered, and pirated, and which was more responsible for the creation and stabilization of the eighteenth-century poetic canon than any other single work. His essay, like the others in this useful book, provides a compact and readable survey of information difficult to access in any summary form. Roger D. Lund Le Moyne College LEE MORRISSEY. From the Temple to the Castle: An Architectural History of British Literature, 1660–1760. Charlottesville : Virginia, 1999. Pp. xiv ⫹ 178. $35. Although this study falls short of fulfilling the promise of its subtitle, it does provide a series of provocative investigations into the relations between literature and architecture in the period–anUt Architectura Poesis, as it were. Mr. Morrissey treats five writers: a professional architect (Vanbrugh), two amateur architects of skill and reputation (Pope and Walpole), and two others whose knowledge of architecture was profound (Milton and Gray).Ineachofhisfivechapters, he sets a literary work—successively Paradise Lost, The Provok’d Wife, An Essay on Man, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, The Castle of Otranto—in the context of the architectural theoryand practice of its time. His proposal is that works of literature and architecture are historical products that have undergone organization of a rhetorical orspatialsort, and his aim is to view their form through history and their history through form. Frederic Jameson is invoked to support the proposition that art can be evaluated on the extent to which it either repeats or opposes an existing ideology, but Mr. Morrissey’s diachronic narrative often seems closer to intellectual than political history. 196 After showing how Paradise Lost, like a well-designed building in Renaissance architectural theory, reveals the universal patterns of reason, Mr. Morrissey turns to Vanbrugh, whose attitude to the rules was not so respectful. Collier protested against the irregularities in The Provok’d Wife, and Cibber and others complained about his Haymarket Theater (1705), which had poor acoustics and bad sightlines . In both works, Mr. Morrissey argues, Vanbrugh introduced variation from the rules as ‘‘an important way of figuring a Whiggish vision of the immediate post-1688 settlement.’’ The argument seems better suited to the play than to the theater. Sir John Brute’s tyranny as husband might well have appeared to audiences as a domesticversion of Stuart absolutism, inviting sympathy for Lady Brute’s breaking of the rules. But it is more difficult to accept that Vanbrugh innovated on his Palladian model (the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza) so as to avoid a formal lineage that would signify Stuart power. Mr. Morrissey has little to say about Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace, buildings whose raw displays of power troubled Whigs like the...