Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey

James Mulvihill (University of Alberta)
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Peacock’s third novel,

Nightmare Abbey

, represents a return to the pattern of

Headlong Hall

(1815). His previous novel,

Melincourt

(1817), also bears the name of a country house but is less focused on a particular place, its peripatetic action unfolding over a virtual Regency landscape. Moreover,

Melincourt

is the most politically engaged of Peacock’s novels, its reform-minded hero and heroine clearly speaking for Peacock himself. Peacock’s friend, the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley — on whom

Melincourt’s

hero, Sylvan Forester, is said to be based — thought so highly of

Melincourt

that he recommended it to his father-in-law, the radical philosopher William Godwin. Thus, when Peacock wrote to him in May and September 1818 of a novel-in-progress entitled

Nightmare Abbey

,…

2673 words

Citation: Mulvihill, James. "Nightmare Abbey". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 June 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16900, accessed 05 March 2024.]

16900 Nightmare Abbey 3 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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