Master-and-servant narratives in the English literature of the 1790s (5836 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Stewart Crehan (University of Zambia)
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Context

The revival of English radicalism in the 1760s, the American Revolution in the late 1770s, the French Revolution of 1789 and the republican insurrection of the United Irishmen in 1798 are events refracted in those English narratives where a master or mistress is humbled or brought down by a servant. Examples include Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1765), where a lady’s maid triggers the fall of usurping prince Manfred; Thomas Holcroft’s Anna St. Ives (1792), where a cunning steward and gardener gains financial control over his foolishly ‘improving’ lord; Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), where two servants who take sides with the heroine thwart their …

Citation: Crehan, Stewart. "Master-and-servant narratives in the English literature of the 1790s". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 April 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19649, accessed 18 May 2022.]

19649 Master-and-servant narratives in the English literature of the 1790s 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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