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IdiocyA Cultural History$
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Patrick McDonagh

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310959

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315367

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History, society, economy: holy fools and idiots come home in nineteenth-century literature

History, society, economy: holy fools and idiots come home in nineteenth-century literature

Chapter:
(p.152) Chapter 7 History, society, economy: holy fools and idiots come home in nineteenth-century literature
Source:
Idiocy
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846315367.008

This chapter explores how Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot revised the concept of the holy innocent or trickster fool as a more contemporary version of idiocy in order to develop social and moral critiques of the worlds they portray in their novels. It examines Scott's Waverley, or 'Tis Sixty Years Since (1814), Dickens' Little Dorrit (1857), and Eliot's Brother Jacob (1860).

Keywords:   Walter Scott, Waverley, or 'Tis Sixty Years Since, Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit, George Eliot, Brother Jacob, holy innocent, trickster fool, idiocy

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