Thomas Love Peacock: Headlong Hall

(2369 words)
  • James Mulvihill (University of Alberta)

Thomas Love Peacock's first novel, Headlong Hall, sets the pattern for his other novels of talk. It features a country-house, the titular Headlong Hall, populated by a diverse set of characters, each embodying a particular intellectual obsession and each tirelessly advocating his or her ideas in the frequent debates on which the novel turns – debates that are often learned, sometimes absurd, but always spirited. Plot is rudimentary, frequently depending on slapstick relieved by a love interest or two, with marriage providing a comic resolution. While highly eclectic intellectually, the typical Peacock novel is unified by some idea that runs through the novel's debates.

Headlong Hall turns on the idea of …

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Mulvihill, James. "Headlong Hall". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 June 2006
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism