In the first full-length study of the figure of the female libertine in late seventeenth - and early eighteenth -century literature, Laura Linker examines heroines appearing in literature by John Dryden, Aphra Behn, Catharine Trotter, Delariviere Manley, and Daniel Defoe. Linker argues that this figure, partially inspired by Epicurean ideas found in Lucretius's De Rerum Natura, interrogates gender roles and assumptions and emerges as a source of considerable tension during the late Stuart and early Georgian periods. Witty and rebellious, the female libertine becomes a frequent satiric target because of her transgressive sexuality
Treating sixteenth- and seventeenth-century erotic literature as part of English political history,Erotic Subjects traces some surprising implications of two early modern commonplaces: first, that love is the basis of political consent and obedience, and second, that suffering is an intrinsic part of love. Rather than dismiss such assumptions as mere conventions, Melissa Sanchez uncovers the political import of early modern literature's fascination with eroticized violence. Focusing on representations of masochism, sexual assault, and cross-gendered identification, Sanchez re-examines the work of politically active writers from Philip Sidney to John Milton.
Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London by James Grantham Turner
A 'Deluge of Libertinism' swept through England in the turbulent seventeenth century: class and gender relations went into deep crisis, and sexually explicit literature took the blame. Bridging periods often kept apart, Libertines and Radicals analyses English sexual culture between the Civil Wars and the death of Charles II in great detail. James Grantham Turner examines a broad range of Civil War and Restoration texts, from sex-crime records to Milton's epics and Rochester's 'mannerly obscene' lyrics. Turner places special emphasis on women's writing and on pornographic texts like The Wandering Whore and The Parliament of Women, flavoured with cockney humour or 'Puritan' indignation. Throughout, Turner reads satirical texts, whether political or pornographic, as an attempt to neutralize women's efforts to establish their own institutions and their own voice.
The Libertine's Progress by Pierre Saint-Amand; Jennifer C. Gage (Translator)
The Libertine's Progress is a comprehensive and concise study of the eighteenth-century French novel, providing a fresh look at amorous relations and offering a radical presentation of the dark side of the Enlightenment. In his preface to the new edition, Rene Girard writes of Pierre Saint-Amand's successful rendering of the essai classique, "Not a word in his book is superfluous; not a turn of phrase is selected for rhetorical effect. That is why he writes so elegantly." Maintaining that the eighteenth century was the last period to practice the art of seduction, Saint-Amand examines the complex relationship between desire and the ploys of those who seek to satisfy it.
Performing Libertinism in Charles II's Court by Jeremy W. Webster; Jeremy Webster
Performing Libertinism in Charles II's Court examines the performative nature of Restoration libertinism through reports of libertine activities and texts of libertine plays within the context of the fraternization between George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, Sir Charles Sedley, and others. The author argues that libertines, both real and imagined, performed traditionally secretive acts, including excessive drinking, sex, sedition, and sacrilege, in the public sphere. This challenged a Stuart ideology that distinguished between the nation's public life and the king's and his subjects' private consciences.
Revolutionary Love in Eighteenth-Century France by Allan Pasco
In this innovative study, the author carves out a new field, a sociology of literature in which he offers insightful commentary about the nexus of literature and society. Calling on history, sociology, and psychology as well as literature as points of reference, Allan Pasco examines the conceptual in eighteenth-century France's ideal of love from familial duty to personal fulfilment.
Le Roman Libertin au XVIIIe Siècle by Dominique Hölzle