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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 Earl of Burlington. The third chapter treats An Essay on Man asan expressionofthePalladianideal . Like Palladian villas, includingPope’s own at Twickenham, the poem exhibits formal coherence through subordination of parts to whole; antitheses, rhyming couplets, and caesuras parallel a Palladian spatial ordering in which opposed elements reflect one another across a central axis. Like Palladian villas also, the poem implies values of self-sufficiency and disinterestedness. Houses such as Pope’s villa and Marble Hill were thus opposed to the court politics implied by Houghton and Blenheim; from his retreat , Pope could observe with the eye of reason the passions of urban life, while maintaining a prospect of the whole. Mr. Morrissey’s view of Pope as a disinterested civic humanist depends on his alignment of the poet’s politicswiththose of Shaftesbury, who (as Lawrence Klein hasargued)envisagednewpossibilitiesin post-1688 and post-1707 Britain for a culture of social participation free from the dominance of Church and Court. But can Pope’s disinterestedness be sustained in the face of the Moral Essays? It seems odd that Mr. Morrissey makes no reference to the polemical Epistle to Burlington , with its incisive architectural criticisms . In the chapters on Gray and Walpole, Mr. Morrissey traces a shift from a paradigm of proportion (derived from Vitruvius and Palladio) to one of association, or from rules based in Roman precedent, to freedom, based in recently discovered British or gothic sources. The shift from ‘‘Temple’’ to ‘‘Castle’’ thus recalls other venerable shifts in the history of ideas— from classic to Romantic, for example,or from emblem to expression. When Mr. Morrissey concludes, however, that The Castle of Otranto ‘‘leaves a ruin—not only . . . of an individual building but of the idea of proportionate, orderly architecture which had governed British architectural theory for at least the preceding one hundred years,’’ the tone seems overconfident. Despite the vogue for follies and artificial ruins, the classical influence on British architecture persisted, freshly informed by the excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii. Alistair M. Duckworth University of Florida JONATHAN I. ISRAEL. Radical Enlightenment : Philosophy and the Making of 197 Modernity, 1650–1750. Oxford: Oxford, 2001. Pp. xvi ⫹ 810. $45. Mr. Israel’s lucid, engrossing account of the Enlightenment’s formative period explains why we want our intellectual histories rewritten every generation, for thisEnlightenmentoverflowswithourfavorite things. Looking much morelikeus, as progenitorsshould,thisEnlightenment is multicultural, taking place across Europe from Russia to Spain; fragmented in its objectives; atheistic but surrounded by religion, with moderates affirming providence and the soul, radicals spurning both, and traditionalists banning and burning books. It is also evolutionary and materialistic, bringing life out of matter and reducing soul to body. Situating himself relative to Paul Hazard’s Crisis of the European Mind (1935), Mr. Israel argues that the real intellectual work of the Enlightenment is completed by 1750, the critical period being 1650–1680. His contribution is to show, controversy by controversy, how ideas spread through confessional networks and correspondence , relationships and booksellers, encountering resistance and support as they developed. Readers who cheat—taking the book by the tail and following favorite characters or concepts via the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2165-0624
Print ISSN
0190-731X
Pages
pp. 196-198
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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