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By Kieran Dolin

Legislations and literature were of the main strong discourses within the development of social truth. the connection among the 2 has emerged as an important new quarter of analysis, as literature has prompted well known realizing of legislation. using criminal and literary idea, Kieran Dolin examines the interaction among felony discourse and the unconventional within the century among Walter Scott and E. M. Forster. This complete learn attracts on criminal and literary conception to track this significant convergence of disciplines in a sequence of canonical Victorian and Modernist texts.

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Extra resources for Fiction and the Law: Legal Discourse in Victorian and Modernist Literature

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The American and French Revolutions, with their resounding declarations of liberty and equality, are lasting political monuments to this jurisprudence. 17 iii Law and romantic individualism In a significant complication in cultural history the Romantic movement, which scorned rationalism in general, found in natural law an instrument of social critique. This applies not only to such supporters The modern Western nomos 27 of the French Revolution as Godwin, Wordsworth, and Shelley, but also to the American Romantics of the mid-nineteenth century.

9 This iconoclastic attitude to both the common law and its most famous living exponent attracted some interest when the Fragment was published in 1776, but not enough to warrant a second edition until 1823. By that time, Bentham’s views on the inadequacy of the law and the need for reform had influential support in Parliament. In a Preface intended for the second edition he recapitulated his opposition to the Commentaries, using the same figure as Blackstone. His object is, the pointing attention to the imperfections which even at that time of day [1776] were seen swarming in the frame of government, and to the rickettiness of its only foundations, in which, on the ground of argument it had ever found support.

They represent the tragedies of real life, often heightened in their effect by the grossness of the injustice and the malignity of the prejudices which accompanied them. At the same time, real culprits, as original characters, stand forward on the canvas of humanity as prominent objects for our special study. 52 The study of criminal psychology was a special interest of Joseph Conrad as well as of the Newgate novelists. That this could easily degenerate into prurience is illustrated by the collections of Peter Burke published a generation later: his Celebrated Trials connected with the Aristocracy in their Private Relations (1849) draws on his own knowledge gained as a divorce barrister, while his Romance of the Forum (1852) follows Scott in asserting the imaginative pleasures of the cause célèbre.

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