English Research Seminar Series
- Dr David Duff, of Queen Mary University of London, presents 'The Prospectus War of the 1790s'.
- School of English
- Open to
- All staff and students, Public
- Wednesday, 22 February 2017
- 2:15 PM to 4:00 PM
- Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall
- Laura Mackintosh
- More info
Prospectuses, a form of printed advertisement widely used in the British book trade of the 18th and early 19th centuries, played an unexpected but vital role in the French Revolution controversy of the 1790s, announcing forthcoming publications and often constituting important public statements in their own right. This paper analyses examples of this largely forgotten genre, whose art of anticipation and persuasion took on new significance when used for political purposes in a publishing context in which commercial rivalry and ideological conflict intersected. Focusing on journal and newspaper prospectuses, the paper considers examples from across the political spectrum, including Coleridge’s ‘flaming prospectus’ to The Watchman, Canning’s hugely influential Prospectus to The Anti-Jacobin, and other examples by Sampson Perry, William Playfair and the London Corresponding Society.