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Book description

Thomas Love Peacock (1785‒1866) is one of the most distinctive prose satirists of the Romantic period. The Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock offers the first complete text of his novels to appear for more than half a century. Crotchet Castle (1831), his sixth novel, contains all the humour and social satire for which Peacock is famous. Its lively farce is more ambitious than that of the earlier works in its range of cultural and intellectual targets, including progressivism, dogmatism, liberalism, sexism, mass education and the idiocies of the learned. The book constitutes an artistic, political and philosophical miscellany of sorts, thematically unified in its satirical emphasis on folly and dispute – and on the folly of dispute itself. This edition provides a full introduction, chronology, annotations and detailed textual and scholarly apparatus.


'The idiosyncratic joy of Thomas Love Peacock’s works is highlighted within wonderfully readable scholarly introductions from Nicholas A. Joukovsky who edits Nightmare Abbey, and Freya Johnston and Matthew Bevis in their edition of Crotchet Castle. … the first thoroughly edited and annotated imprints of Peacock since the Halliford Edition of the Works, edited between 1924 and 1934 …'

John Gardner Source: Notes and Queries

‘Readers are provided with all the information they need to understand and evaluate both the texts and the purposes underlying them … the editors have interpreted their brief generously. They have done an excellent job in identifying many 'out-of-the-way sources and analogues', as well as in positioning the texts accurately at a particular nineteenth-century cultural moment … this is likely to become the edition of choice for scholars and enthusiasts of Peacock’s novels, and for economists, historians, philosophers and other students of the changing currents of nineteenth-century intellectual culture. The volumes are beautifully produced.’

Pamela Clemit Source: Times Literary Supplement

‘… the first two volumes of the Cambridge Edition should become the new standard for editors of the Romantic novel. They not only perform the scholarly work of informing the reader of dates, circumstances, and variants, but they do what the best textual editing can: hugely enrich the experience of reading Nightmare Abbey and Crotchet Castle, and consequently enhance our sense of Peacock’s vigour, complexity, and wit.’

William Bowers Source: Keats-Shelley Journal

‘… [a] meticulous edition …'

Thomas Keymer Source: London Review of Books

‘The Introduction to Crotchet Castle … explores the composition and publication history in great detail, exploiting … surviving draft materials to … the immediacy of Peacock’s response to unfolding events...a remarkable achievement in elucidating Peacock’s ‘fine wit’ for present and future readers.’

Peter Garside Source: Peacock edition

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