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Love in the Time of RevolutionTransatlantic Literary Radicalism and Historical Change, 1793-1818$
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Andrew Cayton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781469607504

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469607511_Cayton

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Prologue: Revolution in Favor of Love

Prologue: Revolution in Favor of Love

(p.1) Prologue: Revolution in Favor of Love
Love in the Time of Revolution

Andrew Cayton

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Gilbert Imlay, a citizen of the United States, and Mary Wollstonecraft, a subject of George III of Great Britain. The former avoided confrontation; the latter embraced it. He had been a soldier and speculator, she a teacher and governess. They were both writers. His Topographical Description of the Interior of North America had appeared in 1791, and he would soon publish a novel, The Emigrants, which would achieve a well-deserved obscurity. Her Vindication of the Rights of Woman became enormously influential. To Paris in 1793, these restless adventurers came to join other radicals in the heady business of renegotiating all aspects of human life. In the capital of revolution in the last decade of the eighteenth century, they talked, wrote, flirted, and fell in love and into bed with each other. It was a “PLEASANT exercise of hope and joy!” famously recalled William Wordsworth of life in Paris in the early 1790s.

Keywords:   Gilbert Imlay, Mary Wollstonecraft, George III, Paris, radicals, William Wordsworth

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