British and Irish Literature Tobias Smollett
by
Aileen Douglas
  • LAST REVIEWED: 15 June 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 November 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846719-0093

Introduction

“I am so fatigued with the unremitting Labour of the Pen that I begin to loathe the sight of Paper” (from the 1970 edition of The Letters of Tobias Smollett [Knapp 1970, p. 58, cited under Letters]). The prodigious achievements of Tobias Smollett (b. 1721–d. 1771), novelist, historian, journalist, editor, compiler, and translator, involve thousands of printed pages and span many varied literary endeavors. Born in Dunbartonshire, Scotland, into the younger branch of a prominent local family, the orphaned Smollett attended the local grammar school and was subsequently a surgeon’s apprentice. He moved to London, his home for most of his life, in 1739. As a wartime naval surgeon (1740–1742), Smollett was in the West Indies at the time of the disastrous English attack on the Spanish possession of Cartagena, an experience reflected in one of the most memorable episodes of his quasi-picaresque and very popular first novel, The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748). Other early novels include The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753), and the quixotic imitation, The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves, published serially (1760–1761). The unprecedented commercial success of his four-volume Complete History of England (1757–1758) and its five-volume Continuation (1760–1765) earned Smollett financial independence. As a journalist and editor, Smollett played a significant role in an expanding print culture. The Critical Review, which he cofounded and edited between 1756 and 1763, helped to develop and guide polite interest in the arts. However, as the editor of the partisan, pro-government paper, The Briton (1762–1763), Smollett also had a direct and bruising experience at the extremely sharp end of mid-18th-century political writing. This latter experience later informed the anonymously published scatological political satire, The History and Adventures of an Atom (1769). Strenuous literary labor, political battles, and personal tragedy in the death of his fifteen-year-old daughter exhausted Smollett. In 1763 his poor health caused him to leave England for the Continent. He lived in the south of France for two years, publishing his Travels through France and Italy in 1766. Smollett’s final novel, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771), concerns a family group traveling through England and Scotland; an epistolary novel, it is famed for its development of multiple viewpoints. Markedly physical and topical, sometimes violent and cruel, Smollett’s novels are distinguished by their highly varied settings and by protagonists who are always on the move, often through very harsh fictional worlds. Although they differ considerably from each other, the novels combine considerably to extend the range of mid-18th-century fiction in English.

General Overviews

No critic has emulated Smollett to the extent of attempting an overview of the entirety of his writings. Studies of Smollett vary considerably in terms of focus and approach, but a distinction can be made between studies restricted to the novels and those ranging further. Foundational early-20th-century works have strong biographical emphases and demonstrate links between the fiction and Smollett’s work in other forms. Martz 1942 argues that Smollett’s engagement between 1753 and 1765 in immense tasks of compilation and synthesis, such as the seven-volume Compendium of Authentic and Entertaining Voyages (1756), profoundly influenced both the topicality and style of the late works. Kahrl 1945 relates Smollett’s actual travels to travel accounts, and to fictional representation, with illuminating effect. Spector 1989 firmly places Smollett in a tradition of picaresque writing. Boucé 1976 and Beasley 1998 offer comprehensive treatments of the fiction with a formal, structural orientation, whereas Richetti 1999, a stimulating single-chapter discussion, applies Smollett’s own conception of the novel as a form to his fictional practice. More recently, the trend has been for thematic accounts involving consideration of the fiction alongside other works. Douglas 1995 focuses on the body; Jones 2011, on enlightenment.

  • Beasley, Jerry C. Tobias Smollett, Novelist. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1998.

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    Presents the episodic nature of the fiction positively, as Smollett’s attempt at a faithful, immediate representation of life. Sees the novels as verbal pictures and emphasizes analogies with painting, especially Hogarth. A clearly written and detailed study. The wide-ranging introduction will be particularly useful to undergraduates.

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    • Boucé, Paul-Gabriel. The Novels of Tobias Smollett. Translated by Antonia White in collaboration with the author. London: Longman, 1976.

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      An abridged version of Les romans de Smollett (Paris: Didier, 1971). This major reassessment argued for the structural importance of recurrent moral themes within the fiction. Its emphasis on artistry raised Smollett’s status during a reputational slump. Occasionally dogmatic on matters literary and nonliterary, this expansive and richly allusive study is a classic of Smollett criticism.

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      • Douglas, Aileen. Uneasy Sensations: Smollett and the Body. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

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        Includes a chapter on the body in 18th-century narrative (pp. 1–26) and discussions of all of the novels along with Adventures of an Atom. Argues that Smollett’s sophisticated and insistent representations of the body disrupt narratives of social and political power.

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        • Jones, Richard J. Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment: Travels through France, Italy, and Scotland. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2011.

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          This elegant and unusual study uses Travels through France and Italy as a textual threshold to Smollett’s life and varied writings. The approach yields dense, informative discussions of Smollett as critic, dramatist, and historian.

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          • Kahrl, George M. Tobias Smollett: Traveler-Novelist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945.

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            A multifaceted work that considers Smollett’s travels to the West Indies and in Europe and his professional exposure as a journalist to travel writing as sources for the fiction. Reads the Continental section of Peregrine Pickle as a satire on the Grand Tour. Includes a suggestive account of Smollett as an “alien Scot” in London (pp. 65–79).

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            • Martz, Louis L. The Later Career of Tobias Smollett. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1942.

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              Especially notable is the demonstration that Travels through France and Italy was not a spontaneous epistolary production, but a work constructed through various literary devices and sources (pp. 67–89). The extended discussion of Humphry Clinker links the novel to the eight-volume Present State of all Nations (1768–1769), particularly in its representation of Scotland.

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              • Richetti, John J. The English Novel in History: 1700–1780. London: Routledge, 1999.

                DOI: 10.4324/9780203393079Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Chapter 6, “Smollett: Resentment, Knowledge, and Action” (pp. 162–195), begins with Smollett’s definition of the novel form in Ferdinand Count Fathom and discusses each of the novels. It links the problems of fictional form and social coherence, teasing out the theoretical implications of the fullness and intensity of Smollett’s representation.

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                • Spector, Robert Donald. Tobias George Smollett. Updated ed. Boston: Twayne, 1989.

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                  Originally published in 1968. The first chapter (pp. 1–23) of this updated edition provides an expanded, but downbeat, consideration of Smollett’s nonfiction. It is followed by an incisive, strongly evaluative study of the novels. Arguing for Smollett’s consistent allegiance to the picaresque, it clashes with most critics including Boucé 1976 and Paulson 1967 (cited under Satire). Not fashionable but a coherent, useful overview.

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                  Reference Works

                  Kelly 1987, part of the Critical Heritage series, covers the early reception. Although thirty years of scholarship lie outside the most comprehensive reference guide, Spector 1980 still remains an invaluable resource. The notes in individual volumes of The Works of Tobias Smollett, also known as the Georgia Edition (cited under Editions) are useful aids to identifying more recent work.

                  • Kelly, Lionel, ed. Tobias Smollett: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987.

                    DOI: 10.4324/9780203197516Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    Includes excerpts of early reviews and commentary on the plays, poetry, and writings about history, as well as the novels, up to 1821.

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                    • Spector, Robert Donald. Tobias Smollett: A Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1980.

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                      A broad listing of works on Smollett’s life and art from 1746 to 1978. Includes discussions in fiction and foreign language publications. Consists of 310 pages of listings organized chronologically by year and a 30-page index. Easy to use, with succinct and judicious annotations. Indispensable.

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                      Biographical Studies

                      Knapp 1949 is a cornerstone of Smollett scholarship and is still indispensable, although an updated scholarly biography is not available as of the early 21st century. Boucé 1971 gives a good sense of early biographical treatments. Lewis 2003 does not pretend to be a scholarly work, but it is a lively and sympathetic account. For an excellent brief life that gives a good sense of the writing, see Simpson 2004. Ross 1982 is a much-cited delineation of Smollett’s social origins and his understanding of his social position. Day 1982 subjects Smollett’s fiction to a psychoanalytic perspective.

                      • Boucé, Paul-Gabriel. “Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Biographies.” In Tobias Smollett: Bicentennial Essays Presented to Lewis M. Knapp. Edited by G. S. Rousseau and P.-G. Boucé, 201–230. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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                        Surveys and characterizes a range of biographies, paying especial attention to the processes of “inverted autobiography” whereby Smollett’s life is interpreted in the fictional terms of his novels. A valuable contribution to understandings of the variable nature of Smollett’s reputation in the centuries after his death.

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                        • Day, Robert Adams. “Sex, Scatology, Smollett.” In Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Edited by Paul-Gabriel Boucé, 225–243. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1982.

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                          Considers sexuality in all of Smollett’s fiction, including his scatological satire Adventures of an Atom, taking as evidence explicit treatments as well as patterns of repetition, gratuitous reference, puns, and so on. Concludes that “a deeply buried homosexual-excremental myth” (p. 241) is a motive in Smollett’s fiction.

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                          • Knapp, Lewis M. Tobias Smollett, Doctor of Men and Manners. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1949.

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                            Scrupulously informed by meticulous research into the documentary evidence. Offers a complex account of Smollett’s personality, balancing his explosive pride and resentment against his capacity for significant friendship and his humanitarian impulses. The concluding chapter (pp. 302–324) on Smollett’s contribution to the novel, although inevitably dated, stands up well as a judicious, insightful summary.

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                            • Lewis, Jeremy. Tobias Smollett. London: Jonathan Cape, 2003.

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                              A readable and lively biography by an author especially sympathetic to Smollett’s life as a hack. Conveys considerable enthusiasm for its subject. Includes an interesting prologue on the author’s experiences of reading Smollett in the 1950s.

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                              • Ross, Ian Campbell. “Tobias Smollett: Gentleman by Birth, Education, and Profession.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 5.2 (1982): 179–190.

                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1754-0208.1982.tb00468.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Argues that Smollett had a very precise understanding of gentlemanly status and that his positive social values are embodied in the country gentry. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                • Simpson, Kenneth. “Smollett, Tobias George (1721–1771).” In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Edited by H. C. G Matthew and Brian Howard Harrison, 404–413. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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                                  Gives a vigorous and succinct overview of Smollett’s life and works. Although in doubting Smollett’s authorship of The History and Adventures of an Atom, it goes against most current critical thinking. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                  Letters

                                  Either Smollett was not a prolific letter writer, or the survival rate of his letters is poor. Those letters that do survive tend to be concerned mainly with issues of health, money worries, and aspects of his professional life, although some letters do contain valuable authorial commentary on individual works. The standard edition is Knapp 1970.

                                  Editions

                                  Smollett is very well served by editions of his work. In addition to the standard scholarly University of Georgia Press edition, still ongoing, a number of good and inexpensive editions of the major novels are available.

                                  The Georgia Edition

                                  The scholarly and handsome University of Georgia Press edition of The Works of Tobias Smollett commenced publication in 1988. Still in progress, it aims to represent a range of the texts through which Smollett established his contemporary reputation. To date, it includes four of the five novels: The Adventures of Roderick Random, Smollett’s enduringly popular first novel; the experimental The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom; the quixotic The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves; and his final novel, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, generally considered his greatest achievement. Other volumes include The History and Adventures of an Atom, a caustic scatological satire, and Poems, Plays, and The Briton, which collects Smollett’s poetic and dramatic works as well as some of his periodical writing. Smollett’s activities as a translator are represented by four volumes, including The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane by Alain René Le Sage (originally published in 1749) and The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote by Cervantes (originally published in 1755).

                                  • Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr. Translated by Tobias Smollett. Introduction and notes by Martin C. Battestin. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2003.

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                                    The 18th century’s most popular English translation of Don Quixote in a splendid scholarly edition. The introduction (pp. xxxiii–xlix) briefly rehearses its contentious reception history; generous notes concentrate on issues of translation and Smollett’s prefatory life of Cervantes. Gorgeously illustrated with all twenty-eight of Francis Hayman’s illustrations for the first edition as well as some of his original designs.

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                                    • Le Sage, Alain René. The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr. and Leslie A. Chilton. Translated by Tobias Smollett. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2011.

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                                      Takes as its copy-text the second edition (originally published in 1750), from which it reproduces thirty-three illustrations. The introduction (pp. xvii–xxix) discusses the French original and argues for the significance of this translation in the development of Smollett’s own fiction.

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                                      • Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr. Introduction and notes by Jerry C. Beasley. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1988.

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                                        Extensively annotated with considerable contextual material and enhanced by ten illustrations by Thomas Stothard and Luke Clennell from the 1782 and 1810 editions. The introduction (pp. xix–xlii) makes a case for the experimental qualities of Smollett’s least popular novel. Supersedes the edition by Damian Grant for the Oxford English Novels series (London: Oxford University Press, 1971).

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                                        • Smollett, Tobias. The History and Adventures of an Atom. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr. Introduction and notes by Robert Adams Day. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1989.

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                                          The first scholarly edition of Smollett’s savage, scatological, and often-obscure political satire establishes attribution, provides copious annotation, and includes a very generous selection of pertinent satiric prints.

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                                          • Smollett, Tobias. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr. Introduction and notes by Thomas R. Preston. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1990.

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                                            The introduction (pp. xxi–liv) encourages recognition of the factual and historical bases of Smollett’s most topical novel. This exhaustively annotated edition includes illustrations by Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank from the editions of 1793 and 1831, respectively.

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                                            • Smollett, Tobias. Poems, Plays, and The Briton. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr. Introduction and notes by Byron Gassman. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1993.

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                                              Makes accessible Smollett’s work on the pro-ministerial journal The Briton (1762–1763) (pp. 221–432); Smollett’s early verse satires and first published writings, Advice (pp. 26–36) and Reproof (pp. 37–45), as well his plays, The Regicide (pp. 87–172), a tragedy, and The Reprisal: Or, the Tars of Old England (pp. 173–218), a comedy.

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                                              • Smollett, Tobias. The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves. Edited by Barbara Laning Fitzpatrick. Introduction and notes by Robert Folkenflik. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2002.

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                                                An elaborate scholarly edition. Takes as copy-text the serialized form in the British Magazine. Reproduces the original engravings by Anthony Walker along with later illustrations by George Cruikshank and William Blake. The introduction (pp. xvii–xlix) emphasizes the topicality and political relevance of Smollett’s satire within the context of the Seven Years’ War.

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                                                • Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Roderick Random. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr. Introduction and notes by James G. Basker, Paul-Gabriel Boucé, and Nicole A. Seary. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2012.

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                                                  A full scholarly edition taking as its copy-text the fourth edition (published in 1755) as revised by the author. The introduction (pp. xxiii–lviii) emphasizes Smollett as a modern figure through discussion of the novel’s representation of war, global themes, and sympathy for women. Detailed account of Smollett’s international reception. Includes valuable supplementary material relating to the Cartagena expedition.

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                                                  Roderick Random

                                                  Smollett 1995 and Smollett 2008 are good, reasonably priced editions from Penguin and Oxford University Press, respectively, each including a chronology and useful select bibliography.

                                                  • Smollett, Tobias. Roderick Random. Edited by David Blewett. London: Penguin, 1995.

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                                                    Based on the fourth edition (published in 1755). Includes maps of contemporary London and Cartagena. The short, concise introduction efficiently represents the novel as deploying a double vision, incorporating both satire and romance.

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                                                    • Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Roderick Random. Edited by Paul-Gabriel Boucé. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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                                                      Based on the first edition (published in 1748), with the addition of the “Apologue” (pp. xxxvii–xxxviii) from the fourth edition (published in 1755). The introduction (pp. ix–xxv), which dates from 1981, gives an excellent and accessible sense of the novel’s complexities.

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                                                      Peregrine Pickle

                                                      The only scholarly edition of Smollett’s second novel is Smollett 1983.

                                                      • Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, in which are Included Memoirs of a Lady of Quality. Edited with an introduction by James L. Clifford and revised by Paul-Gabriel Boucé. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

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                                                        Takes as its copy-text the first edition (published in 1751), rather than the expurgated 1758 version. The introduction concludes on the basis of stylistic evidence that Smollett at least shaped the interpolated “Memoirs of a Lady of Quality” for publication.

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                                                        Humphry Clinker

                                                        Smollett 2008 from Penguin and Smollett 2009 from Oxford University Press are each good, reasonably priced editions.

                                                        • Smollett, Tobias. Humphry Clinker. Edited by Shaun Regan with an introduction by Jeremy Lewis. London: Penguin, 2008.

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                                                          A vigorous introduction (pp. vii–xxvii) effectively draws on current approaches to Smollett’s work, even if it slightly overstates the extent to which Smollett exists in a critical “limbo.”

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                                                          • Smollett, Tobias. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker. Edited with an introduction and notes by Lewis M. Knapp and revised by Paul-Gabriel Boucé. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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                                                            The labor of two venerable Smollettians. The introduction in this edition (pp. vii–xv) dates from 1966, and the cutoff date of the very complete select bibliography (pp. xvi–xxii) is 1991.

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                                                            Travels through France and Italy

                                                            Smollett 1979 is a full scholarly edition. Smollett 1981 reproduces the same text for the World’s Classics series but without the entirety of the scholarly apparatus.

                                                            • Smollett, Tobias. Travels through France and Italy. Edited by Frank Felsenstein. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

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                                                              Takes as its copy-text the first edition of May 1766, incorporating Smollett’s annotations in his personal copy of the Travels, now held at the British Library. The full and lucid introduction (pp. 7–42) disputes the assessment of Smollett’s use of sources in Martz 1942 (cited under General Overviews) and offers a detailed reception history.

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                                                              • Smollett, Tobias. Travels through France and Italy. Edited by Frank Felsenstein. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981.

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                                                                A good teaching edition, using the text of Smollett 1979 but with the degree of scholarly apparatus appropriate to the World’s Classics series: notes on the text, p. xxi select bibliography, and chronology.

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                                                                Essay Collections

                                                                Several collections of essays have been devoted to Smollett’s works: Brack 2007, Bold 1982, Rousseau and Boucé 1971, and Rousseau 1982. Two of the collections are dedicated to prominent Smollettians, and each contains articles of value.

                                                                • Bold, Alan, ed. Smollett: Author of the First Distinction. London: Vision, 1982.

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                                                                  Consists of nine essays, four of which are general treatments of Smollett and each of the remaining devoted to a particular novel.

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                                                                  • Brack, O. M., Jr., ed. Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Essays in Memory of Paul-Gabriel Boucé. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007.

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                                                                    Consists of twelve essays, one of which is a warm tribute to Paul-Gabriel Boucé by Serge Soupel. The introduction by Brack (pp. 9–24) is an interesting reflection on the history of the Smollett edition. Other essays treat the novels, Smollett as translator, Laurence Sterne and Smollett, Adventures of an Atom, and Smollett as history writer.

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                                                                    • Rousseau, G. S. Tobias Smollett: Essays of Two Decades. Edinburgh: Clark, 1982.

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                                                                      A collection of fifteen pieces, previously published, several of them as book reviews. The diverse subjects include politics, the arts, and Smollett’s achievements, with an emphasis on medical matters, broadly conceived.

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                                                                      • Rousseau, G. S., and P.-G. Boucé, eds. Tobias Smollett: Bicentennial Essays Presented to Lewis M. Knapp. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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                                                                        Includes a tribute to Knapp by James L. Clifford and a list of Knapp’s publications. Of the eleven essays, seven are devoted to the novels; other topics include Smollett as historian and traveler, as well as early biographies.

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                                                                        Picaresque and Quixotic Fictions

                                                                        As both a translator and a novelist, Smollett employed and modified fictional forms derived from European traditions, but the nature and extent of these relationships have been controversial. Alter 1964 is a pithy appreciation of Smollett as the 18th-century novelist in England most clearly drawn to the picaresque tradition. Boucé 1976 (cited under General Overviews) argues for the limited importance of the picaresque mode in understanding Smollett’s work, whereas Spector 1989 (also cited under General Overviews) argues for its significance to all of Smollett’s novels. Of works cited in this section, Rousseau 1982 sees the whole controversy as arising out of muddled definitions. Hammond 2009 very usefully contextualizes the quixotic strand in mid-18th-century fiction. Ardila 2009 synthesizes the more detailed Ardila 2006 and is an important expression of Spanish-language work.

                                                                        • Alter, Robert. Rogue’s Progress: Studies in the Picaresque Novel. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964.

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                                                                          Chapter 4, “The Picaroon as Fortune’s Plaything” (pp. 58–79), argues that the world of Roderick Random, the novel’s inclusive representation of ordinary life, and the hero’s status as outsider are consistent with the picaresque tradition. The last third of the novel, however, represents a decline into sentimental mode.

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                                                                          • Ardila, J. A. G. “Cervantes en Inglaterra: El Quijote en los albores de la novela británica.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 83.5 (2006).

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                                                                            A single-authored special issue of the journal. Especially important is chapter 6, “Un ejemplo señero de la Cervantean fiction: Roderick Random de Tobias Smollett” (pp. 133–155). Itemizes the Cervantic influence on Smollett’s novel in detail.

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                                                                            • Ardila, J. A. G. “Tobias Smollett, Don Quixote and the Emergence of the English Novel.” In The Cervantean Heritage: Reception and Influence of Cervantes in Britain. Edited by J. A. G. Ardila, 151–165. London: Legenda, 2009.

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                                                                              Sees Smollett, along with Fielding, as being the 18th-century English novelist most indebted to Cervantes. Slightly pugnacious on the issue of the rival claims of the picaresque, and not all of the cited influences are equally significant, but nonetheless a detailed treatment that places Smollett in a properly international context.

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                                                                              • Hammond, Brean. “The Cervantic Legacy in the Eighteenth-Century Novel.” In The Cervantean Heritage: Reception and Influence of Cervantes in Britain. Edited by J. A. G. Ardila, 96–103. London: Legenda, 2009.

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                                                                                A lucid and allusive account that gives a very good overview.

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                                                                                • Rousseau, G. S. “Smollett and the Form of Picaresque Literature.” In Tobias Smollett: Essays of Two Decades. By G. S. Rousseau, 55–79. Edinburgh: Clark, 1982.

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                                                                                  The variety of Smollett’s novels makes categorization difficult, but misunderstandings of “picaresque” as relating to form rather than content have bedeviled criticism of Smollett. Originally published as “Smollett and the Picaresque: Some Questions about a Label” (Studies in Burke and His Time 12 (1971): 1886–1904).

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                                                                                  Smollett and the English Novel

                                                                                  Although consistently a canonical presence, Smollett’s novels have not always fitted smoothly into dominant accounts of literary history. Extremely popular and esteemed as a major writer well into the 19th century, Smollett then suffered a critical eclipse. In the 20th century he was routinely named with Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, and Laurence Sterne as one of the initiators of the novel in English, but he was not commensurately prominent in accounts of the novel’s rise. McKillop 1979 (originally published in 1956) is one study that does present Smollett as a founder of the English novel. Bree 2007 focuses on Smollett and Fielding but also gives a useful perspective on early 19th-century canon formation. Orwell 1968 is a polemical piece that values Smollett as an outsider. Apparently loosely constructed on a chronological thread, the conversational style of Daiches 1982 belies sharp insight concerning the construction of literary history. Blackwell 2011, arguing that accounts of the novel have underestimated Smollett’s achievement, connects the dots of literary history to reveal new and suggestive patterns.

                                                                                  • Blackwell, Mark. “Disjecta Membra: Smollett and the Novel in Pieces.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 52.3–4 (2011): 423–442.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1353/ecy.2011.0026Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Embraces fragmentation and discontinuity as themes in, and formal properties of, Smollett’s fiction. Finds possible “shards of Smollett” (p. 438) in Sterne and Austen. Argues for Smollett’s importance as a guide to the early novel as form. Not every point on Smollett’s influence convinces, but the overall tenor of this stylish and fresh essay is persuasive. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                    • Bree, Linda. “Fielding and Smollett: Rival Novelists?” In Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Essays in Memory of Paul-Gabriel Boucé. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr., 142–167. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007.

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                                                                                      A judicious and careful comparison of the fiction of Smollett and Fielding and their early reputations, this essay provides useful orientation for general consideration of the mid-18th-century novel.

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                                                                                      • Daiches, David. “Smollett Reconsidered.” In Smollett: Author of the First Distinction. Edited by Alan Bold, 13–46. London: Vision, 1982.

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                                                                                        Begins with Sir Launcelot Greaves as offering the clearest expression of Smollett’s principles and then discusses each novel in turn. Identifies the relation between realism and moral sensibility as being central to his work and concludes that Smollett’s literary career shows the close alliance of apparent oppositions: satire and sensibility, censoriousness and empathy.

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                                                                                        • McKillop, Alan Dugald. The Early Masters of English Fiction. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1979.

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                                                                                          Originally published in 1956, this study still has much to offer. Chapter 4, “Tobias Smollett” (pp. 147–181), is a responsive and flexible overview of the novels in which critical insight is not subordinated to a particular thesis.

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                                                                                          • Orwell, George. “Tobias Smollett: Scotland’s Best Novelist.” In Vol. 3, As I Please: 1943–1945; The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell. Edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, 244–248. London: Secker & Warburg, 1968.

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                                                                                            First published in the London Tribune in 1944, this short piece mixes brilliant insight and partiality, arbitrarily connects Smollett’s outstanding intellectual honesty to his non-English birth, shrewdly sees that the problem of Smollett is also the problem of defining realism, perversely celebrates Peregrine Pickle as a masterpiece, and seriously misrepresents Smollett’s morality by ignoring benevolence.

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                                                                                            Satire

                                                                                            Paulson 1967 is a strong and comprehensive statement of satire’s contribution to, and gradual displacement by, the novel. It denies any break between Smollett’s early and later novels, seeing his career as a coherent quest to accommodate a satiric purpose using the fashionable novel form. Weaker expressions of the thesis are found across a good deal of subsequent criticism. In contrast, Sena 1975 emphasizes Smollett’s indebtedness to traditions of verse satire. Rosenblum 1975 explores satire as social vision. Rousseau 1994 provides a useful overview with an emphasis on satire but blended with other elements. Multiple links between food and satire are explored in Smith 2004. A good single chapter account tracing Smollett’s modification of the satiric impulse is Stewart 2010.

                                                                                            • Paulson, Ronald. Satire and the Novel in Eighteenth-Century England. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1967.

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                                                                                              Brilliant and focused readings argue that all of Smollett’s novels explore satiric function and offer some kind of solution to the problem of satiric form. This extended discussion engages more positively with satire’s antithesis, sentimentality, than Paulson’s earlier articulation, “Satire in the Early Novels of Smollett” (The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 59.3 [1960]: 381–402, available online by subscription).

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                                                                                              • Rosenblum, Michael. “Smollett as Conservative Satirist.” ELH: English Literary History 42.4 (1975): 556–579.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/2872494Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Smollett’s novels satirize a disorderly society, although this vision is tempered somewhat in his final novel. Pays particular attention to the role of deceptive or hostile father figure in conservative satire and to its antidote, the idealized paternal estate. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                • Rousseau, G. S. “From Swift to Smollett: The Satirical Tradition in Prose Narrative.” In The Columbia History of the British Novel. Edited by John J. Richetti, 127–153. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

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                                                                                                  A rollicking account that gives a good sense of the shape of Smollett’s career and the diversity of fictional modes that he employed, while usefully sketching in general developments in the novel.

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                                                                                                  • Sena, John F. “Smollett’s Matthew Bramble and the Tradition of the Physician-Satirist.” Papers on Language and Literature 11.4 (1975): 380–396.

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                                                                                                    Matthew Bramble is not an autobiographical version of the author, but a persona derived from a tradition of classical satire as transmitted by Elizabethan-verse satirists. In this tradition’s equation of moral and physical health, the expression of satiric rage helps effect, as it does with Bramble, a cure for moral ills.

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                                                                                                    • Smith, Nicholas D. “‘The Muses O’lio’: Satire, Food, and Tobias Smollett’s The Expedition of Humphry Clinker.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 16.3 (2004): 401–418.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/ecf.2004.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      This lively and learned essay discusses the novel in the contexts of classical satura and of the contemporary politics of food, specifically in relation to England and French rivalry. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                      • Stewart, Carol. The Eighteenth-Century Novel and the Secularization of Ethics. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2010.

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                                                                                                        Chapter 2, “Opposition and Persuasion: From Roderick Random to Humphry Clinker” (pp. 71–100), economically traces Smollett as an opposition voice from the verse satires to his final novel.

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                                                                                                        Gender and Genre

                                                                                                        A critical consensus has not been reached on Smollett’s representations of gender, and views can diverge widely. An important strand in criticism in recent decades, however, has been to explore the extent to which Smollett’s representations of gender are mediated by genre. In Spector 1994, the decisive factor is Smollett’s commitment to the male picaresque. By contrast, Skinner 1996 attaches considerable weight to the interpolated female narratives in the novels. Smollett’s openness to, and experimentation with, literary forms understood as female is argued for in Irvine 2000. A study of the cruelty inherent in much 18th-century comedy, Dickie 2011 argues that Smollett’s writing particularly victimizes women.

                                                                                                        • Dickie, Simon. Cruelty and Laughter: Forgotten Comic Literature and the Unsentimental Eighteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226146201.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Details a vast mid-18th-century comic literature, much of it now unfamiliar. Chapter 2, “Cripples, Hunchbacks, and the Limits of Sympathy” (pp. 45–111), presents Smollett’s “deformity humor” (p. 48) as characteristic of the age. Finds Smollett’s use of the tropes of “rape jokes” (pp. 217–223) to be an indication of a profound lack of sympathy for women.

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                                                                                                          • Irvine, Robert P. Enlightenment and Romance: Gender and Agency in Smollett and Scott. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2000.

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                                                                                                            Chapter 1, “Smollett: Satire, Romance, and Feminine Agency” (pp. 37–107), ambitiously discusses Smollett’s absorption of female literary forms with mixed results. A reading of Roderick Random as structured by (male) history and (female) romance is persuasive. Less convincing is the study’s view of Humphry Clinker as valorizing the domestic novel, mainly through the character of Lydia.

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                                                                                                            • Skinner, John. Constructions of Smollett: A Study of Genre and Gender. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                              Especially important is the concluding chapter (pp. 216–243). Aspects of Smollett’s undeniable misogyny can be traced back to classical satire and to contemporary cultural assumptions, but the female counter-narratives in several of his works provide a disruptive element.

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                                                                                                              • Spector, Robert D. Smollett’s Women: A Study in an Eighteenth-Century Masculine Sensibility. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994.

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                                                                                                                Discusses Smollett’s female characters as heroines, fallen women, and comic and grotesque figures. Smollett’s use of the picaresque, and his intense antipathy to romance, explain his stereotypical female characters. This study itself employs some questionable gender assumptions, but it is a comprehensive survey, including a rare discussion of Smollett’s drama (pp. 21–26).

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                                                                                                                The Scottish Smollett

                                                                                                                Several of the works cited under General Overviews contain significant discussion of Scotland as a theme or influence in Smollett’s works especially in Roderick Random, and Humphry Clinker. In addition, Beasley 1996 gives a useful overview of issues of national identity in Smollett’s work generally. The forms of anti-Scots prejudice against which Smollett labored are usefully detailed in Rothstein 1982, whereas Basker 1993 considers Scotticisms as a source of anxiety for Scottish writers. Keymer 1995 contrasts representations of Scotland in Smollett and Defoe. Simpson 1988 aligns Smollett with a distinctive tradition of Scottish writing in English, whereas Crawford 2007 isolates the importance of 18th-century Scottish writers, including Smollett, in the construction of “British” literature. Following Crawford, recent discussions have been interested in Smollett’s involvement in various cultural forms, particularly the novel, that engender a British identity. Such discussions tend to explicate how the construction of British identity both marks and displaces an identity represented as Scots. In this regard, both Sorenson 2000, in its discussion of Smollett’s representation of language, and Shields 2010, in its account of national identity and the romance plot of Roderick Random, find Smollett’s negotiations of national identities problematic.

                                                                                                                • Basker, James G. “Scotticisms and the Problem of Cultural Identity in Eighteenth-Century Britain.” In Sociability and Society in Eighteenth-Century Scotland. Edited by John Dwyer and Richard B. Sher, 81–95. Edinburgh: Mercat, 1993.

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                                                                                                                  Discusses Samuel Johnson’s treatment of Scotticisms in A Dictionary of the English Language (originally published in 1756). Considers them a personal anxiety for James Boswell, David Hume, and Smollett (discussing the latter mainly through their contributions in The Critical Review journal. An appendix lists Scotticisms identified by Smollett in The Critical Review; a second reprints a list from the Scots Magazine (1760). Originally published in Eighteenth-Century Life 15 (1991): 81–95.

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                                                                                                                  • Beasley, Jerry C. “Tobias Smollett: The Scot in England.” Studies in Scottish Literature 29.1 (1996): 14–28.

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                                                                                                                    A good synthetic account of how the tension between being a native Scot and a writer in English manifests itself across genres, in a range of Smollett’s works. Beasley sees alienation as being Smollett’s most important theme.

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                                                                                                                    • Crawford, Robert. Devolving English Literature. 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 2007.

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                                                                                                                      This much-cited study sees Smollett along with Boswell and Burns as the three 18th-century Scottish writers who experimented most influentially with post-Union possibilities of being British. Chapter 2, “British Literature” (pp. 45–75), presents Smollett as a pioneering novelist. Provides highly influential readings of Roderick Random and Humphry Clinker in relation to the theme of prejudice. Originally published in 1992.

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                                                                                                                      • Keymer, Tom. “Smollett’s Scotlands: Culture, Politics and Nationhood in Humphry Clinker and Defoe’s Tour.” History Workshop Journal 40.1 (1995): 118–132.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/hwj/40.1.118Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Contrasting the treatment of Scotland in texts by Defoe and Smollett, this lively essay finds that Smollett’s version is the more complex representation. His novel not only includes the Highlands (as Defoe’s text does not) but also, more generally, eschews the values of naive empiricism and mercantilism animating Defoe’s text. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                        • Rothstein, Eric. “Scotophilia and Humphry Clinker: The Politics of Beggary, Bugs, and Buttocks.” University of Toronto Quarterly 52.1 (1982): 63–78.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.3138/utq.52.1.63Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Usefully rehearses anti-Scots prejudices in the 1760s, especially those involving bare buttocks, the mange, and poverty. Argues that in his final novel Smollett sought to annul such associations by means both direct and indirect, particularly involving the representations of Humphry Clinker and Lismahago. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                          • Shields, Juliet. Sentimental Literature and Anglo-Scottish Identity, 1745–1820. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511750793Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Discusses Smollett’s first and last novel. The detailed analysis of Roderick Random (pp. 55–69) argues that the novel’s romance plot promises to reform an inegalitarian Scottish–English union; however, this promise is not fulfilled. An earlier version, “Smollett’s Scots and Sodomites: British Masculinity in Roderick Random,” appeared in The Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation 46.2 (2005): 175–188.

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                                                                                                                            • Simpson, Kenneth. The Protean Scot: The Crisis of Identity in Eighteenth Century Scottish Literature. Aberdeen, Scotland: Aberdeen University Press, 1988.

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                                                                                                                              Especially important is the first chapter, “The Scot as English Novelist: Tobias Smollett” (pp. 14–40). Smollett is a pivotal figure in Scottish literature. He shares the stylistic vigor and imaginative vision of writers such as William Dunbar and David Lyndsay, but he also manifests the cultural deracination that would characterize later Scottish writing. Also available in Bold 1982 (pp. 64–105, cited under Essay Collections).

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                                                                                                                              • Sorenson, Janet. The Grammar of Empire in Eighteenth-Century British Writing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                Especially important is chapter 3, “Women, Celts, and Hollow Voices: Tobias Smollett’s Brokering of Anglo-British Linguistic Identities” (pp. 104–137). Considers the ambivalent position of Smollett in London as cultural authority and outsider. Argues that Humphry Clinker displaces spatial distinctions between core and periphery onto linguistic registers.

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                                                                                                                                Speech and Writing

                                                                                                                                Smollett’s particular experience, as a Lowland Scot writing in English, of the difference between speech and writing is a matter of comment in Basker 1993, Beasley 1996, and Sorenson 2000 (all cited under the Scottish Smollett). Accounts of Smollett’s attitudes to linguistic purity and correctness diverge considerably, depending on which of Smollett’s works is the focus. Basker 1988 (cited under Criticism and Journalism) reads Smollett’s reviews as showing conservative and occasionally pedantic attitudes to written expression. In contrast, Grant 1977 discusses the novels in terms of their linguistic invention and openness to change. Underwood 1970 sees linguistic realism in Smollett’s representation of dialects in his first novel. Thomas R. Preston, in his introduction to Smollett 1990 (pp. xxxii–xxxvii, cited under Editions), gives a useful brief overview of the linguistic issues in Humphry Clinker, whereas Boggs 1965 and Sherbo 1969 disagree about Win Jenkins’s letters. Rogers 2003 discusses Jonathan Swift as a literary influence on the written expression of Jenkins.

                                                                                                                                • Boggs, W. Arthur. “Dialectical Ingenuity in Humphry Clinker.” Papers on Language and Literature 1 (1965): 327–337.

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                                                                                                                                  The mingling of different linguistic markers in Jenkins’s letters constitutes a hoax on Smollett’s part.

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                                                                                                                                  • Grant, Damian. Tobias Smollett: A Study in Style. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                    Especially chapter 4, “Language” (pp. 70–99), a sympathetic account of Smollett’s attitude to language, specifically his ease with, and exploitation of, linguistic impurities. Uses an attractive range of references to distinguish this aspect of Smollett from many of his contemporaries and to ally him with later writers such as Charles Dickens and James Joyce.

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                                                                                                                                    • Rogers, Pat. “Comic Maid-Servants in Swift and Smollett: The Proverbial Idiom of Humphry Clinker.” Papers on Language and Literature 39.3 (2003): 307–315.

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                                                                                                                                      Argues that in the composition of Jenkins’s letters, Smollett made conscious use of Swift’s maid-servant poems, borrowing situations, word-forms, proverbs, and a distinctive voice.

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                                                                                                                                      • Sherbo, Arthur. “Win Jenkins’ Language.” Papers on Language and Literature 5 (1969): 199–204.

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                                                                                                                                        Takes issue with Boggs 1965, disputing the ingenuity of Jenkins’s language.

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                                                                                                                                        • Underwood, Gary N. “Linguistic Realism in Roderick Random.” Journal of English and German Philology 69.1 (1970): 32–40.

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                                                                                                                                          Discusses Smollett’s representation of a range of dialects in Roderick Random and argues that these representations are accurate and successful. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                          Commerce and Consumption

                                                                                                                                          Smollett’s fascination with the city and his preoccupation with social change, along with his fiction’s wide-flung settings and topicality, combine to make contemporary commerce and consumption prominent themes in his work. Sekora 1977 has shaped current discussion of these issues, identifying luxury as a central moral and social concern in the period and placing Smollett at the center of its discussion. Giddings 1982 is an early consideration of the colonial aspect of consumption, whereas Sussman 2000 further extends and develops the discussion of this sphere. Carson 1992 uses the image of the castrato in Humphry Clinker to focus on the gendered nature of debates concerning luxury. In arguing that Humphry Clinker is dominated by Smollett’s bitter response to luxury, Jacobsen 1996 differs from more common estimates of the novel as ultimately mellow in tone. Models of textual consumption are the focus of Mann 2012–2013. Gibson 2007 acknowledges the paradoxes of Smollett’s attitudes to commerce and the arts, but his account is still notably more positive than others.

                                                                                                                                          • Carson, James P. “Commodification and the Figure of the Castrato in Smollett’s Humphry Clinker.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 33.1 (1992): 24–46.

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                                                                                                                                            The carefully constructed essay argues that, although only mentioned once briefly, the figure of the Italian castrato Tenducci is carefully integrated into the structural oppositions of the novel. Through these, Smollett marks the acceptable limits of male sensibility and indicts luxury and the women who are its driving force. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                            • Gibson, William. Art and Money in the Writings of Tobias Smollett. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                              Building on Basker 1988 (cited under Criticism and Journalism), the heart of this study is Smollett’s work in The Critical Review. It emphasizes Smollett’s interest in developing the commercial art market, especially for engravings. Also includes a discussion of Peregrine Pickle, Travels through France and Italy, and Humphry Clinker. An appendix reproduces articles on fine art from The Critical Review (pp. 163–178).

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                                                                                                                                              • Giddings, Robert. “Matthew Bramble’s Bath: Smollett and the West Indian Connection.” In Smollett: Author of the First Distinction. Edited by Alan Bold, 47–63. London: Vision, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                Contextualizes the material in Humphry Clinker relating to West Indian plantations and Bath. No footnotes.

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                                                                                                                                                • Jacobsen, Susan L. “‘The Tinsel of the Times’: Smollett’s Argument against Conspicuous Consumption in Humphry Clinker.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 9.1 (1996): 71–88.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1353/ecf.1996.0044Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Follows Sekora 1977 in seeing the novel as a tract for the times. Reads Humphry Clinker as a bitter novel with a pessimistic and nostalgic conclusion. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Mann, Annika. “Waste Management: Tobias Smollett and Remediation.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 25.2 (Winter 2012–2013): 359–382.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.3138/ecf.25.2.359Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    Interestingly attempts to apply theories of textual consumption, including that of remediation, to several of Smollett’s texts. Discusses his medical text Essay on the External Use of Water (originally published in 1752) and Adventures of an Atom, as well as Humphry Clinker. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Sekora, John. Luxury: The Concept in Western Thought, Eden to Smollett. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                                      This work of considerable substance discusses the concept of “luxury” from antiquity onward, as a defensive response to social change. It places Smollett’s writings at the forefront of his generation’s conservative polemics. Provides extended discussion of the periodical writings and devotes three chapters to the attack on luxury in Humphry Clinker (pp. 215–282).

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                                                                                                                                                      • Sussman, Charlotte. Consuming Anxieties: Consumer Protest, Gender, and British Slavery, 1713–1833. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                        Chapter 3, “Foreign Objects, Domestic Spaces: Transculturation in Humphry Clinker” (pp. 81–109), discusses the novel’s concern with England’s growing reliance on the products of the colonial periphery. The novel literalizes economic consumption as a physiological problem of oral consumption. Pays particular attention to the episode of Lismahago’s captivity and to images of fluidity.

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                                                                                                                                                        Smollett and Medicine

                                                                                                                                                        Smollett’s medical training and work as a doctor; his inclination toward satire, the most physical of literary genres; and his extreme personal sensitivity (and sometimes irritability) all contribute to the acute and highly distinctive representations of physicality in his work. Douglas 1995 (cited under General Overviews) is the fullest consideration of this theme. Sena 1975 (cited under Satire) explores the connections in the English literary tradition between curative satire and medicine. Rousseau’s interest in the history of medicine has often focused on Smollett, resulting in articles collected in Rousseau 1982 (cited under Essay Collections). In addition, issues of health and disease figure prominently in many of the works cited under Commerce and Consumption. Sena 1968 is an influential article on Travels, and Rousseau 1971 deals with Smollett’s innovative representation of pregnancy. McAllister 1989 argues that physiology is a key to Smollett’s fictional characterization. The importance to the plot of Humphry Clinker of the restoration of health is given early exploration in West 1969 and further developed in Weed 1997.

                                                                                                                                                        • McAllister, John. “Conversion, Seduction, and Medicine in Smollett’s Ferdinand Count Fathom.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 1.4 (1989): 319–334.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1353/ecf.1989.0056Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          The novel takes a consistently physiological view of Ferdinand’s ethical nature, and it is according to such a view that his final conversion to virtue can be understood. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Rousseau, G. S. “Pineapples, Pregnancy, Pica, and Peregrine Pickle.” In Tobias Smollett: Bicentennial Essays Presented to Lewis M. Knapp. Edited by G. S. Rousseau and P.-G. Boucé, 79–109. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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                                                                                                                                                            Concentrates on those chapters of the book dealing with the pregnancy of Peregrine’s mother. Considers the power accorded the maternal imagination in contemporary theories of pregnancy and gives a lively account of the horticulture of the pineapple, the exotic and fashionable fruit on which Mrs. Pickle’s appetite focuses.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Sena, John F. “Smollett’s Persona and the Melancholic Traveler: An Hypothesis.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 1.4 (1968): 353–369.

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                                                                                                                                                              For contemporary readers of Travels, the persona would have been the recognizable type of the melancholic or splenetic man. Draws on medical works such as George Cheyne’s The English Malady (originally published in 1733) to show how the persona adopts the appropriate regime for treatment, in which travel itself played an important part. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Weed, David M. “Sentimental Misogyny and Medicine in Humphry Clinker.” Studies in English Literature 37.3 (1997): 615–636.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/451052Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Extends the analysis of West 1969 by applying humoral pathology to the body politic and exploring the extent to which the novel genders such theories. Argues that the novel is concerned with models of male health in a commercial society. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                • West, William A. “Matt Bramble’s Journey to Health.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 11.3 (1969): 1197–1208.

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                                                                                                                                                                  The central development of the novel is Matt Bramble’s return to health, but this can only be understood in the context of 18th-century medical theories, specifically the persistent influence of humoral pathology or theories relating to bodily fluids. Pays particular attention to William Cadogan’s A Dissertation on the Gout (originally published in 1771).

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                                                                                                                                                                  Criticism and Journalism

                                                                                                                                                                  At mid-century, Smollett’s highly influential role, not just as journalist but also as editor and founder of journals, was rivaled only by that of Samuel Johnson. Basker 1988 appreciates Smollett’s reviews as a discrete activity. Donoghue 1996 is more theoretically inflected but is strangely regressive in seeing the reviewing only in the light of the novels. Roper 1959 was an important clarification of the personnel involved in The Critical Review.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Basker, James G. Tobias Smollett, Critic and Journalist. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                    A significant and comprehensive study of this aspect of Smollett’s career. Presents Smollett as an Enlightenment figure with wide intellectual interests. Draws attention to The Critical Review’s innovations including art criticism and foreign coverage. Includes a chapter on the serialization of Sir Launcelot Greaves and three important appendixes, one of which lists Smollett’s articles in The Critical Review.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Donoghue, Frank. The Fame Machine: Book Reviewing and Eighteenth-Century Literary Careers. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Follows Martz 1942 (cited under General Overviews) and others in describing a two-stage career, the break here related to Smollett’s increasing identification with the authoritative role of reviewer. Oddly, the reviews are not discussed (for these, see Basker 1988), but an allegorical, and at times suggestive, account of the novels are included.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Roper, Derek. “Smollett’s ‘Four Gentlemen’: The First Contributors to the Critical Review.” Review of English Studies n.s. 10.37 (1959): 38–44.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/res/X.37.38Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        On the basis of annotated copies of Volumes 1 and 2 of The Critical Review held at the University of Oregon, identifies the four figures involved in its production as Thomas Francklin, Samuel Derrick, John Armstrong, and Patrick Murdoch. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Translation

                                                                                                                                                                        Smollett produced a number of very substantial translations of works by Alain René Le Sage, Voltaire, and François Fénelon from the French and those of Cervantes from the Spanish. Smollett did not always acknowledge his translations and occasionally spoke of such work in dismissive terms. In certain cases, particularly in his translation of Don Quixote, his abilities as a translator were brought into question. For these reasons, Smollett’s achievement in this area was, until recently, somewhat nebulous. The inclusion of several of Smollett’s translations in the Georgia Edition of his works (cited under Editions) has, however, permitted a new and more accurate assessment. Battestin 1997 offers a very full account of Smollett’s translation of Don Quixote, whereas Chilton 2005 offers a general overview of Smollett as translator.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Battestin, Martin, C. “The Authorship of Smollett’s Don Quixote.” Studies in Bibliography 50 (1997): 295–321.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Extremely popular with contemporaries, Smollett’s translation has also been denigrated and abused on the grounds of plagiarism and the author’s supposedly poor Spanish. This article discusses the work’s history, including the publication in 1948 by Francesco Cordasco of forged letters in which Smollett “confessed” the translation was largely done by another. An impressive vindication of Smollett and the translation. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Chilton, Leslie A. “Tobias Smollett: A Case Study.” In The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English. Vol. 3, 1660–1790. Edited by Stuart Gillespie and David Hopkins, 105–110. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Presents Smollett as a representative professional translator of the period by virtue of the range of his work from both French and Spanish and his contemporary popularity. A fuller, more detailed discussion is available in Brack 2007 (cited under Essay Collections), pp. 186–199.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Political Views

                                                                                                                                                                            The most direct Smollett’s involvements in contemporary politics occur in the partisan periodical The Briton and the scabrous satire History and Adventures of an Atom. Valuable editions of both texts are cited under the Georgia Edition (cited under Editions). Although Gassman 1963 discusses Smollett as a Tory, both Fabel 1974 and Greene 1971 find this label inadequate in conveying those political attitudes of Smollett that they discern.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Fabel, Robin. “The Patriotic Briton: Tobias Smollett and English Politics, 1756–1771.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 8.1 (1974): 100–114.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2737893Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              A lucid article pointing out that Smollett’s explicitly political writings are limited to the events of the Seven Years’ War. Sees patriotism, rather than allegiance to any party, as being the consistent element in otherwise paradoxical political attitudes. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Gassman, Byron. “The Briton and Humphry Clinker.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 3.3 (1963): 397–414.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/449353Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                A wide-ranging essay arguing that by mid-century Smollett had relinquished the Whig principles of his youth and had come to be in sympathy with Tory attitudes. Pays particular attention to strictures on the freedom of the press in Smollett’s nonfiction and in Humphry Clinker. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Greene, Donald. “Smollett the Historian: A Reappraisal.” In Tobias Smollett: Bicentennial Essays Presented to Lewis M. Knapp. Edited by G. S. Rousseau and P.-G. Boucé, 25–56. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  This reflective essay considers changing kinds of history writing. It argues that Smollett’s historical works have been seriously underrated and challenges the view of the author as a partisan “Tory.” The essay suggests that “independent” is a more fitting term for Smollett’s political views.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Criticism of Individual Works

                                                                                                                                                                                  In comparison to his peers, Richardson and Fielding, Smollett may be the subject of fewer critical monographs, but his works have sustained critical interest, much of which has found expression in a wide range of articles on individual novels.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Roderick Random

                                                                                                                                                                                  As one of Smollett’s two most popular and critically esteemed works, Roderick Random has elicited considerable commentary. General Overviews, Picaresque and Quixotic Fictions, Smollett and the English Novel, Satire, and the Scottish Smollett all contain multiple citations treating the novel. Among works cited in this section, Barrell 1983 gives a powerful sense of the variety of the novel’s representations. Haggerty 2012 connects discussion of the novel to an important collection of work on representations of sexuality in the 18th century. The decisive statements in Alter 1964 (cited under Picaresque and Quixotic Fictions) regarding the novel’s fractured nature are considerably developed and augmented in Stephanson 1989. Rogers 2012 is, with much else, an exhilarating and provocative assessment of critical fashions.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Barrell, John. “A Diffused Picture, An Uniform Plan: Roderick Random in the Labyrinth of Britain.” In English Literature in History, 1730–80: An Equal, Wide Survey. By John Barrell, 176–209. London: Hutchinson, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    This very influential reading provides an excellent starting place for study of the novel. Argues that the novel’s highly differentiated social world is rendered coherent by the gentleman hero’s growing ability to observe unity. Reprinted in The English Novel. Vol. 2, Smollett to Austen. Edited by Richard Kroll, 97–127. London: Longman, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Haggerty, George E. “Smollett’s World of Masculine Desire in The Adventures of Roderick Random.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 53.3 (2012): 317–330.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/ecy.2012.0030Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      The novel’s world is that of relationships between men. Its phobic representation of same-sex desire through episodes featuring Whiffle and Strutwell only draws attention to the emotion, physicality, and intensity of its male–male relationships. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Rogers, Pat. “An Old-Fashioned Picaro.” New Criterion 31 (November 2012): 10–13.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        This review of the Georgia Edition (cited under Editions) robustly reasserts the novel’s picaresque qualities and dispatches any suggestion of a softer, modern Smollett. Its powerfully distilled account of the novel and of Smollett’s appeal to readers is a virtuoso piece of criticism. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Stephanson, Raymond. “The (Non)Sense of an Ending: Subversive Allusion and Thematic Discontent in Roderick Random.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 1.2 (1989): 103–118.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1353/ecf.1989.0026Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Helpfully outlines critical debate concerning the novel’s ending. Argues that the novel’s relentlessly negative perspective is not contained by its idyllic close and that Roderick Random contains two quite different, and unreconciled, kinds of fictional discourse. Offers a rich and full discussion of Narcissa’s role. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Peregrine Pickle

                                                                                                                                                                                          George Orwell’s view (Orwell 1968, cited under Smollett and the English Novel) that the bulky Peregrine Pickle is a masterpiece is not widely held, but the novel possesses considerable critical interest. It is discussed in almost all of the works cited under General Overviews and several cited under Satire. Gibson 2007 (cited under Commerce and Consumption) discusses the novel’s representation of the Grand Tour and of fine art, especially through the figure of the painter Pallet. In addition to these discussions, Ross 1982 reads the novel as a late expression of country party philosophy. Substantial authorial revision and the inclusion of interpolated material mean that Peregrine Pickle poses more textual issues than other works by Smollett. Brack 1995 gives an account of the novel’s publication history and rehearses the textual issues. The fullest and most authoritative account of the much-discussed authorship of “Memoirs of a Lady of Quality” is Brack 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brack, O. M., Jr. “Smollett’s Peregrine Pickle Revisited.” Studies in the Novel 27.3 (1995): 260–272.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Writing as the textual editor of the projected Georgia Edition (cited under Editions) of the novel, the late O. M. Brack Jr., addresses the choice of copy-text and the potential of a hypertext edition. The essay justifies privileging the first edition of 1751, with the revisions that Smollett made for the second edition (published in 1758) to be recorded in the textual apparatus. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Brack, O. M., Jr. “Smollett and the Authorship of ‘The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality.’” In Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Essays in Memory of Paul-Gabriel Boucé. By O. M. Brack Jr., 35–73. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Reviews the publication history of the novel. Regarding the interpolated, and scandalous, memoirs of Lady Vane, the article concludes on internal evidence that Smollett gave a final form to materials that Lady Vane provided.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ross, Ian Campbell. “‘With Dignity and Importance’: Peregrine Pickle as Country Gentleman.” In Smollett: Author of the First Distinction. Edited by Alan Bold, 148–169. London: Vision, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Argues that in Peregrine Pickle, Smollett creates a representative figure of his age. The hero overcomes his own venality and misplaced social ambition to recognize correctly the privileges and responsibilities of his social role and to embody the proper independence of a country gentleman.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Ferdinand Count Fathom

                                                                                                                                                                                                Criticism of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Smollett’s third novel, is to be found in items cited under General Overviews, in McKillop 1979 (cited under Smollett and the English Novel), and in Paulson 1967 (cited under Satire). The novel is particularly notable for its inclusion of one of Smollett’s few pieces of literary theory: the definition of the novel form, included in the introduction (p. 6). This definition is given serious consideration in Beasley 1984 and Kahan 2008–2009. One of the novel’s innovations was the inclusion of gothic elements, and these are the subject of Almirall 1953 and Durot-Boucé 2007. Treadwell 1971 clearly articulates the divided nature of the novel’s “two worlds” of vice and virtue. The implications of this division are taken further in Preston 1974 and Thomas 1979 in their differing perspectives on the novel’s representation of feeling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Almirall, Catherine L. “Smollett’s ‘Gothic’: An Illustration.” Modern Language Notes 68.6 (1953): 408–410.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/3043133Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A persuasive argument that the theater, and specifically William Congreve’s The Mourning Bride, provided direct inspiration for one of the gothic episodes in the novel. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Beasley, Jerry C. “Smollett’s Novels: Ferdinand Count Fathom for the Defense.” Papers on Language and Literature 20.2 (1984): 165–184.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    The editor of the novel for the Georgia Edition (cited under Editions), and one of Smollett’s great champions, reflects on the definition of the novel form given in Fathom’s introduction. He argues that the emphasis on the visual and the analogy with painting not only enhance readings of Ferdinand Count Fathom but also correct understandings of Smollett’s self-conscious artistry.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Durot-Boucé, Elizabeth. “Fathoming the Gothic Novelists’ Indebtedness to Smollett.” In Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Essays in Memory of Paul-Gabriel Boucé. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr., 168–185. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Provides a very full treatment of the gothic elements of Smollett’s novel in relation to the later development of the gothic as a fictional mode.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kahan, Lee F. “Fathoming Intelligence: The ‘Impartial’ Novelist and the Passion for News in Tobias Smollett’s Ferdinand Count Fathom.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 21.2 (2008–2009): 229–257.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1353/ecf.0.0045Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        An ingenious, if not completely convincing, essay. It takes Smollett’s definition of the novel seriously, but in terms of the development of an “author-function” rather than novelistic form. Contains interesting material on mid-18th-century magazines. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Preston, Thomas R. “Disenchanting the Man of Feeling: Smollett’s Ferdinand Count Fathom.” In Quick Springs of Sense: Studies in the Eighteenth Century. Edited by Larry S. Champion, 223–239. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reads Fathom as a problem or thesis novel concerned with the education of the virtuous man of feeling in a corrupt and vicious world.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Thomas, Joel J. “Smollett and Ethical Sensibility: Ferdinand Count Fathom.” Studies in Scottish Literature 14 (1979): 145–164.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Despite its harsh satiric world, the novel still manifests Smollett’s adherence to the ethics of feeling, particularly in the form of sympathy propounded by Hume.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Treadwell, T. O. “The Two Worlds of Ferdinand Count Fathom.” In Tobias Smollett: Bicentennial Essays Presented to Lewis M. Knapp. Edited by G. S. Rousseau and P.-G. Boucé, 131–153. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Deftly rehearses the mid-century rivalry between the peripatetic fiction of Fielding and the domestic fiction of Richardson, and their respective concepts of human nature, as a context for Smollett’s novel. Explores Fathom as a unique, but not entirely successful, attempt to combine both didactic streams in one book.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sir Launcelot Greaves

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The merits of Smollett’s creation of a quixotic hero in armor in Sir Launcelot Greaves has dominated critical discussion of the novel, and such discussion is exemplified and furthered by Hammond 2009 and Ardila 2009 (both cited under Picaresque and Quixotic Fictions). Mayo 1962 and Folkenflik 2002 illuminate the novel’s innovations in terms of serialization and illustration. Price 1982 brings the figure of the novel’s reader into focus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Folkenflik, Robert. “Tobias Smollett, Anthony Walker, and the First Illustrated Serial Novel in English.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 14.3–4 (2002): 507–532.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1353/ecf.2002.0037Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Draws on, and in some respects extends, the author’s work as editor of the text, cited under Editions: Georgia Edition. A more wide-ranging essay than the title might suggest as it includes consideration of the novel’s reception and speculation on its composition. Lavishly illustrated. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mayo, Robert D. The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740–1815: With a Catalogue of 1375 Magazine Novels and Novelettes. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1962.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Provides a rich context for consideration of Smollett’s publication of the novel and precisely clarifies the nature of the innovations involved (pp. 274–288).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Price, John Valdimir. “Smollett and the Reader in Sir Launcelot Greaves.” In Smollett: Author of the First Distinction. Edited by Alan Bold, 193–208. London: Vision, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The novel’s quixotic elements are not as interesting as the cultivation by Smollett of the reader’s collaboration through direct address and chapter headings. This feature is related to the serial publication of the novel and the need to maintain interest over an extended period, but it owes more to an increased moral awareness on Smollett’s part.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Humphry Clinker, Smollett’s last novel, is also his most discussed. Criticism of the novel is cited under General Overviews, Smollett and the English Novel, Satire, the Scottish Smollett, and Commerce and Consumption. The topicality of the book, and its formal sophistication, admit highly diverse critical approaches. Both Mayer 1992 and Rothstein 1975 demonstrate the novel’s coherence, the former through its historical argument and the latter through its formal properties. McKeon 2005 and Gottlieb 2007 variously explore issues of sympathy. Anderson 2012 is concerned with the representation of Methodism, whereas Richetti 1987 advances a subtle analysis of Clinker’s class position. Wallace 2005–2006 reads the novel as a skeptical warning regarding the benefits of empire. Price 1973 remains an excellent pithy overview.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Anderson, Misty G. Imagining Methodism in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Enthusiasm, Belief, and the Borders of the Self. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chapter 6, “A Usable Past: Reconciliation in Humphry Clinker and the Spiritual Quixote” (pp. 201–231), contrasts Humphry Clinker with Smollett’s earlier, hostile references to Methodism. Differs from the established view (for example, Sekora 1977, cited under Commerce and Consumption) in reading Humphry Clinker as a positive reflection on Methodism’s potential to forge connections among people.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gottlieb, Evan. Feeling British: Sympathy and National Identity in Scottish and English Writing, 1707–1832. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The novel deploys both Hume’s idea of sympathy as contagion and Adam Smith’s view of sympathy as achieved through dialogue. Smith’s view is seen as the more promising, although not unproblematic, basis for national harmony. Originally published as “‘Fools of Prejudice’: Sympathy and National Identity in the Scottish Enlightenment and Humphry Clinker” in Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18.1 (2005): 81–106.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mayer, Robert. “History, Humphry Clinker, and the Novel.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 4.3 (1992): 239–256.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1353/ecf.1992.0055Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Argues that Humphry Clinker is structurally superior to Smollett’s other fiction because it embodies a historical argument concerning the benefits of political union between Scotland, with its moral values, and England, with its material progress. Bramble is the novel’s efficacious center and the work demonstrates self-consciousness regarding fictional forms. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • McKeon, Michael. The Secret History of Domesticity: Public, Private, and the Division of Knowledge. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chapter 15, “Variations on the Domestic Novel” (pp. 680–717), reads Humphry Clinker as a variety of domestic novel. Smollett’s narrative dramatizes and aestheticizes scenes of sympathetic identification, and it is through such scenes, rather than ties of blood, that familial stability is constituted.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Price, John Valdimir. Tobias Smollett: “The Expedition of Humphry Clinker.” London: Edward Arnold, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Deals intelligently and succinctly with issues of categorization, presenting Humphry Clinker as a fusion of disparate literary forms. Gives a detailed, balanced account of the novel, particularly in terms of characterization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Richetti, John. “Representing an Under Class: Servants and Proletarians in Fielding and Smollett.” In The New Eighteenth Century: Theory, Politics, English Literature. Edited by Felicity Nussbaum and Laura Brown, 84–98. New York: Methuen, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This resonant article argues that Humphry Clinker represents antithetical possibilities for rendering an underclass. Initially vividly particularized as a plebeian, he is subsequently absorbed as servant into the conventions of comic romance. Smollett’s novel marks a crucial step in fiction’s ideological strategies. Richetti 1999 (cited under General Overviews) extends this analysis.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rothstein, Eric. Systems of Order and Inquiry in Later Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chapter 3, “Humphry Clinker” (pp. 109–153), is an intricate and detailed account. It argues that the epistemological skepticism of the book is developed through a complex system of analogy and modification among the novel’s multiple characters.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wallace, Tara Ghoshal. “‘About Savages and the Awfulness of America’: Colonial Corruptions in Humphry Clinker.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18.2 (2005–2006): 229–250.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1353/ecf.2006.0033Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Contextualizes the novel’s account of Lismahago’s captivity through discussion of nonfictional contemporary sources. Argues that Smollett sees America as a double danger because it drains Britain of workers through emigration and strengthens the damaging circulation of luxurious commodities. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Travels through France and Italy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Among works cited under General Overviews, Martz 1942 and Kahrl 1945 challenged autobiographical readings of the Travels as the grumpy reflections of a xenophobic misanthrope. Jones 2011 (also cited under General Overviews) places the work in relation to Smollett’s Enlightenment concerns. Similarly, Gibson 2007 (cited under Commerce and Consumption) relates the aesthetic judgments of the Travels to Smollett’s more general interests in the visual arts. Sena 1968 (cited under Smollett and Medicine) develops an influential argument concerning the distance between Smollett and the persona of the Travels. Spector 1971 and Bowers 1997 both emphasize the text’s didactic purposes. Probably as significant to the work’s reception as any of its intrinsic qualities, Sterne’s fictional characterization of Smollett as Smelfungus is given a genial turning of the tables in Ross 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bowers, Terence N. “Reconstituting the National Body in Smollett’s Travels through France and Italy.” Eighteenth-Century Life 21.1 (1997): 1–25.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Like Spector 1971, reads the text as a didactic one, but with a negative rather than positive message. In its concern for national health, Travels mounts an attack on the socially constructed aristocratic body, with its manners and codes. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ross, Ian Campbell. “When Smelfungus Met Yorick: Tobias Smollett and Laurence Sterne in the South of France, 1763.” In Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Essays in Memory of Paul-Gabriel Boucé. Edited by O. M. Brack Jr., 74–93. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Discusses the impact of Sterne’s fictional representation of Smollett in A Sentimental Journey. Demonstrates that, when the two writers coincided in the south of France in 1763, it was Smollett, rather than Sterne, who was the relatively happy traveler.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Spector, Robert D. “Smollett’s Traveler.” In Tobias Smollett: Bicentennial Essays Presented to Lewis M. Knapp. Edited by G. S. Rousseau and P.-G. Boucé, 231–246. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The artistic design of the Travels centers on the figure of the persona who, in fulfillment of the text’s didactic purpose, achieves a corrected and healthier view of Britain during his journey.

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