Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period maps the intellectual formation of English plebeian radicalism and Scottish philosophic Whiggism over the long eighteenth century and examines their associated strategies of critical engagement with the cultural, social and political crises of the early nineteenth century. It is a story of the making of a wider British public sphere out of the agendas and discourses of the radical and liberal publics that both shaped and responded to them. When juxtaposed, these competing intellectual formations illustrate two important expressions of cultural politics in the Romantic period, as well as the peculiar overlapping of national cultural histories that contributed to the ideological conflict over the public meaning of Britain's industrial modernity. Alex Benchimol's study provides an original contribution to recent scholarship in Romantic period studies centred around the public sphere, recovering the contemporary debates and national cultural histories that together made up a significant part of the ideological landscape of the British public sphere in the early nineteenth century.
Alex Benchimol is lecturer in the Department of English Literature at the University of Glasgow, UK