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Southey and William Hone
conference contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:55 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.
Name of eventRobert Southey and Romantic Contexts
Event start date2010-04-14
Event finish date2010-04-16