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Patriotism and Public SpiritEdmund Burke and the Role of the Critic in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain$
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Ian Crowe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804781275

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804781275.001.0001

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Unraveling the Threads in Burke's ‘Vindication of Natural Society’

Unraveling the Threads in Burke's ‘Vindication of Natural Society’

Chapter:
(p.73) Chapter Two Unraveling the Threads in Burke's ‘Vindication of Natural Society’
Source:
Patriotism and Public Spirit
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804781275.003.0003

This chapter examines how a collaborative network of writers at Tully's Head came to view Lord Bolingbroke's influence upon Alexander Pope in the light of his contested intellectual legacy, and of how that collaborative process shaped the composition of the Vindication. This contextualization of Burke's text serves both to reaffirm the traditional, satirical reading of that problematic text and challenge its recent appropriation as evidence for Burke's imputed angst over injustices in British-controlled Ireland. It also shows how the Vindication can provide a valuable window onto a wider debate within the Republic of Letters about the role of the critic in detecting and exposing delusive or dishonorable appeals to public spirit.

Keywords:   Edmund Burke, Tully's Head, Lord Bolingbroke, Alexander Pope, Vindication, Republic of Letters, critic

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