Slippery Moral Messages and Political Pedagogues: radical politics in 'Evenings at Home'

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Lim, Jessica WH 

The accepted narrative of the eighteenth-century English fable is one of peak and decline. Fable scholars (already scant in number) tend to associate the politicized Augustan fable with the political turmoil surrounding the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, subsequently depicting the Georgian fable as a conservative, depoliticized literary form for children. This paper revises this narrative by examining how Anna Letitia Barbauld and John Aikin politicized the fables in their popular children’s miscellany, Evenings at Home (1792–1796) in response to Britain’s political climate in the years following the French Revolution.

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Oxford Research in English
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Winter 2016
University of Oxford
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