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Four visions of judgement

conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 12:57 authored by John Gardner
The notion that stories are not owned but merely exist to be used whatever way the author wishes to is well illustrated by Southey’s ‘A Vision of Judgment’, now little read compared to Byron’s dominant counter-blast. William Hone’s response to both of these poems, ‘A New Vision of Judgement’, printed along with a corresponding cut by George Cruikshank, connects these two versions and radicalises them. Hone raises, with particular directness, the question of who can properly claim ownership of a particular narrative? Who owns a nursery rhyme such as The House that Jack Built, or an expensively published poem such as Don Juan, or a laureate poem such as A Vision of Judgement, or the story of the Peterloo massacre or the Bible? Hone takes these circulating texts and claims each of them in the name of his own radical agenda. In an age of print culture, representations are not owned, they are only used, and anyone with access to print has the power to use them in any way they will. In this paper I will examine the relationship between these three men, and their circle, through their ‘Visions’.


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Romantic Circulations: British Association of Romantic Studies International Conference


Roehampton, UK

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)

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