My first article, on Frances Burney d’Arblay’s attitude to politeness in the eighteenth century, is now available. You can find the pdf by clicking here, and the abstract is below:
The influence of courtesy literature on Frances Burney’s Cecilia (1782) has been well documented. Yet the question of religion remains overlooked. This article both reasserts the Anglican nature of Cecilia’s behaviour and asserts the Catholicism of the Delvile family. It argues that Cecilia constitutes a sustained engagement with the Gordon riots of 1780 and critiques the utility of female politeness as a social glue. In a romance plot that reflects contemporary legal attempts to reconcile Britons after centuries of religious warfare, Burney ultimately suggests that politeness lacks the vocabulary with which to confront social and economic inequalities.