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On 21 August 2015, British Prime Minister David Cameron authorised the killing with military force of a British national, twenty-one-year-old Reyaad Khan. Khan and two other men riding in a vehicle with him were blown to shreds by Hellfire missiles launched from a remotely piloted drone. The attack occurred in Syria, despite the fact that the United Kingdom Parliament had voted to restrict UK involvement in the Syrian Civil War. The Prime Minister declared the killings a lawful exercise of Britain’s ‘inherent right to self-defence’1 against a ‘very real threat’.2 The British suspected Khan of recruiting individuals to ISIS3 and of plotting terrorist attacks to be carried out in the UK.4 A few days later, the United States also conducted a drone attack in Syria and announced with a ‘high level of confidence’ that it had succeeded in killing another twenty-one-year-old British national, Junaid Hussain.5
In this book, self-defence against non-state actors is examined by three scholars whose geographical, professional, theoretical, and methodological backgrounds and outlooks differ greatly. Their trialogue is framed by an introduction and a conclusion by the series editors. The novel scholarly format accommodates the pluralism and value changes of the current era, a shifting world order and the rise in nationalism and populism. It brings to light the cultural, professional and political pluralism which characterises international legal scholarship and exploits this pluralism as a heuristic device. This multiperspectivism exposes how political factors and intellectual styles influence the scholarly approaches and legal answers and the trialogical structure encourages its participants to decentre their perspectives. By explicitly focussing on the authors' divergence and disagreement, a richer understanding of self-defence against non-state actors is achieved, and the legal challenges and possible ways ahead identified.
Frances Burney and Jane Austen both wrote their era’s definitive marriage plot novels, yet it is obvious that their heroine-centred courtship fiction stands at a distance from Fielding, Goldsmith and Shebbeare’s clerical and gentlemanly fictions – and even from Richardson’s Pamela. Most strikingly, proper ceremony holds no interest for Austen and Burney. In their novels conjugal attachment does not express Anglican piety or natural law; rather it promotes a literary subjectivity firmly aligned with moral virtue (and very often at odds with the commercial public sphere). Austen’s courtship narratives are widely regarded as a high point of the ‘serious’ modern realist novel, understood precisely as a secular literary mode. To acknowledge Burney and Austen’s departures from their Anglican and Patriot predecessors is not to forget the legacy that shapes their work; it is, instead, to notice that in their hands the English marriage plot undergoes a profound and enduring transformation.
This study has made the case that the secularism of the English marriage plot has been too readily assumed. That assumption dissolves as soon as the genre’s early political contexts are more fully taken into account: Court Whig hegemony, the passage of and intense resistance to Hardwicke’s Marriage Act and the marriage debates that follow. Yet the origins of the English marriage plot are nothing if not layered. The novels of Richardson, Fielding, Shebbeare and Goldsmith shaped the genre and retain connections to improper marriage cultures. Old urban clandestine wedding markets and theatrical mock marriages continue to haunt them even as, promoting various Anglican and political interests, they invent a genre for which proper church ceremony is central.
In the summer of 1753, while controversy over the Marriage Act and the Jewish Naturalisation Act was in full flow, Richardson, by then a successful London printer and a famous author, wrote to Elizabeth Carter in support of both bills. The letter has been understood to indicate that he was a proponent of the Court Whig programme. But that is not quite so. On the marriage question in particular, Richardson’s opinions differed from those which motivated Hardwicke’s legislation, even though his novels also rejected the modes of clandestine marriage that the legislation abolished.
This chapter explores the precise nature of Richardson’s affinities and differences with the Hardwicke legislation in the context of his two marriage-focussed novels, Pamela and The History of Sir Charles Grandison.
Clandestine marriage played a significant role in the English marriage plot’s development. Before being suppressed by the Marriage Act, it had spawned its own popular culture, whose history helps to explain what was at stake in the division of ‘proper’ from ‘improper’ ceremony that was so important to the new genre. This chapter outlines the conditions for the rise of clandestine marriage before taking account of its cultural profile centred on London’s so-called Fleet marriage market, a hub of the city’s boisterous commercial street life and tavern culture and a focus of its stage entertainments. If the marriage debate appealed to erudite theories in the halls of power, clandestine marriage and its representations belonged to more unruly and demotic spaces. In a remarkable feat of reconfiguration, however, by the century’s second half clandestine marriage had become an element of respectable (and sentimental) culture.
This chapter outlines the theo-political conditions under which the English marriage plot was established. It shows how a particular party faction, the Court Whigs – which was committed both to a view of church-state relations that I call Erastian and to a particular understanding of natural law – reformed the regulation of marriage. Yet these efforts immediately met with contestation, much of which was based on alternative understandings of natural law and, implicitly, of church-state relations too. In the welter of debate triggered by the legislation, marriage was viewed as central not just to the polity but also to the divine order.