Description : When the novel broke into cultural prominence in the eighteenth century, it became notorious for the gripping, immersive style of its narratives. In this book, Karin Kukkonen explores this phenomenon through the embodied style in Eliza Haywood's flamboyant amatory fiction, Charlotte Lennox's work as a cultural broker between Britain and France, Sarah Fielding's experimental novels, and Frances Burney's practice of life-writing and fiction-writing. Four female authors who are often written out of the history of the genre are here foregrounded in a critical account that emphasizes the importance of engaging readers' minds and bodies, and which invites us to revisit our understanding of the rise of the modern novel. Kukkonen's innovative theoretical approach is based on the approach of 4E cognition, which views thinking as profoundly embodied and embedded in social and material contexts, extending into technologies and material devices (such as a pen), and enactive in the inherent links between perceiving the world and moving around in it. 4E Cognition and Eighteenth-Century Fiction investigates the eighteenth-century novel through each of these trajectories and shows how language explores its embodied dimension by increasing the descriptions of inner perception, or the bodily gestures around spoken dialogue. The embodied dimension is then related to the media ecologies of letter-writing, book learning, and theatricality. As the novel feeds off and into these social and material contexts, it comes into its own as a lifeworld technology that might not answer to standards of nineteenth-century realism but that feels 'real' because it is integrated into the lifeworld and embodied experiences. 4E cognition answers one of the central challenges to cognitive literary studies: how to integrate historical and cultural contexts into cognitive approaches.
Description : Jane Austen's England was littered with remnants of medieval religion. From her schooling in the gatehouse of Reading Abbey to her visits to cousins at Stoneleigh Abbey, Austen faced constant reminders of the wrenching religious upheaval that reordered the English landscape just 250 years before her birth. Drawing attention to the medieval churches and abbeys that appear frequently in her novels, Moore argues that Austen's interest in and representation of these spaces align her with a long tradition of nostalgia for the monasteries that had anchored English life for centuries until the Reformation. Converted monasteries serve as homes for the Tilneys in Northanger Abbey and Mr. Knightley in Emma, and the ruins of the 'Abbeyland' have a prominent place in Sense and Sensibility. However, these and other formerly sacred spaces are not merely picturesque backgrounds, but tangible reminders of the past whose alteration is a source of regret and disappointment. Moore uncovers a pattern of critique and commentary throughout Austen's works, but he focuses in particular on Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Sanditon. His juxtaposition of Austen's novels with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts rarely acknowledged as relevant to her fiction enlarges our understanding of Austen as a commentator on historical and religious events and places her firmly in the long national conversation about the meaning and consequences of the Reformation.