Hypocrisy and the Politics of Politeness: Manners and Morals from Locke to Austen

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Cambridge University Press, 06.05.2004 - 242 Seiten
In Hypocrisy and the Politics of Politeness, Jenny Davidson considers the arguments that define hypocrisy as a moral and political virtue in its own right. She shows that these were arguments that thrived in the medium of eighteenth-century Britain's culture of politeness. In the debate about the balance between truthfulness and politeness, Davidson argues that eighteenth-century writers from Locke to Austen come down firmly on the side of politeness. This is the case even when it is associated with dissimulation or hypocrisy. These writers argue that the open profession of vice is far more dangerous for society than even the most glaring discrepancies between what people say in public and what they do in private. This book explores what happens when controversial arguments in favour of hypocrisy enter the mainstream, making it increasingly hard to tell the difference between hypocrisy and more obviously attractive qualities like modesty, self-control and tact.
 

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Inhalt

introduction The revolution in manners in eighteenthcentury prose
1
chapter one Hypocrisy and the servant problem
15
chapter two Gallantry adultery and the principles of politeness
46
chapter three Revolutions in female manners
76
Pamela or Virtue Rewarded
108
a modest question about Mansfield Park
146
coda Politeness and its costs
170
Notes
180
Bibliography
213
Index
230
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Über den Autor (2004)

Jenny Davidson is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She has published articles in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture and Studies in Romanticism. She is the author of a novel, Heredity (2003).

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