Written by Candlelight

Written by Candlelight

There is a powerful current in English political writing that is simultaneously radical and traditional. It is radical because harshly critical of the revolutionary impact of capitalism on the everyday life of the common people. It is traditional because it harks back to the small, rooted, roughly egalitarian communities of a premodern age. In its more Tory guises (in Carlyle, for instance, and often in Ruskin), it harks right back to mythically integrated Catholic, feudal communities. In less overtly nostalgic and romantic forms, however—in the radicalism of William Cobbett, for instance—it often finds a more comfortable home in the eighteenth century.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima