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Title: Mark Akenside and the poetry of current events, 1738-1770
Author: Jump, Harriet Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 1951
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1988
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The aim of this thesis is to provide an analysis of the historical and political context of a group of poems which were written by Mark Akenside between 1738 and 1770. Most of these poems were composed in response to particular political events or situations, or to the publication of works of literature, history, or theology; the remainder are verse-epistles addressed to political figures who were personal friends of the poet. Arguments have also been included for the attribution to Akenside of a small number of anonymous poems. I have taken a broadly chronological approach. The first chapter covers the period 1738-1739, and discusses the background and references of two poems written before and just after the declaration of the War of Jenkins' Ear. The subject of the second chapter is two poems addressed to the 'patriot' politician William Pulteney in 1742 and 1744 (before and after his supposed political apostasy). The third chapter considers the case for attribution of two short poems on the subject of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, and includes a discussion of an Ode addressed to the Earl of Huntingdon in 1747, In the fourth chapter, a poem composed during the contested Westminster election of 1749 is discussed, in addition to Odes addressed to Sir Francis-Henry Drake, Charles Townshend, and Dr Caleb Hardinge. The fifth chapter includes a consideration of Odes written on the occasion of the publication of three books: William Warburton's edition of Pope's works, Frederick the Great's Memoires, and Bishop Hoadly's Sermons; a second Ode to Drake is also discussed. The sixth chapter discusses another poem which relates to Warburton, an Ode on the poetry of the Abbe de Chaulieu, and a letter and an Ode on the subject of the Seven Years' War. The conclusion considers Akenside's revisions in the light of allegations that he abandoned his Whig principles and became a Tory towards the end of his life. My object has been not only to elucidate obscure references and to supply contextual background information, but also to provide a picture of the political and intellectual history of the mid-eighteenth century as seen through the eyes of a highly intelligent, if politically partisan, observer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Criticism and interpretation ; Politics in literature