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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2022
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Book description

Melincourt (1817), Thomas Love Peacock's only three-volume novel, is also his most comprehensive work. In it, he explores a broad range of controversies: the dangers of 'paper money'; British consumers' complicity in slavery; the inequities of the current system of parliamentary representation; the problem of differentiating between human beings and other animals; and, most centrally, the question of whether and how the human condition might be improved. Peacock's brilliant synthesis of courtship novel and quest romance can only be fully appreciated against its colourful and fraught historical background, and Gary Dyer expertly equips readers with the historical and literary awareness required to recognise it as one of Peacock's most stimulating works. Vividly illuminating its remarkable plot – from the suitors' courtship of Anthelia Melincourt to the rescue party comprised of Sylvan Forester, Mr Fax and the chivalrous 'oran outang' Sir Oran Haut-ton – this edition makes Melincourt more accessible than ever before.


‘With their meticulous notes, rigorous documentation of textual variants and generous contextual appendices (including two unperformed, unpublished farces that Peacock drew on for Headlong Hall), these fine new volumes in the Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock get us closer than ever to the nuances of his satire.’

Thomas Keymer Source: the Times Literary Supplement

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