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An Expanding Universe

The Project of Eighteenth-Century Studies

Essays Commemorating the Career of Jim Springer Borck

Edited by
Kevin L. Cope and Cedric D. Reverand II

LC 2013024816, CIP
ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64871-8
$125.00 (Forthcoming)

ISBN-13: 978-0-404-67009-2
$64.50 (Forthcoming)

AMS Studies in the Eighteenth Century, No. 71

Like the eighteenth century itself, the world of Jim Borck was always in the process of enlargement, whether through the swelling of a university office into a global bibliographical clearing house or whether in the upgrading of an interest in Augustan landscapes into an enthusiasm for the production of television documentaries on natural-historical topics. An Expanding Universe commemorates Jim Borck’s commitment to the perennial enlargement of eighteenth-century studies and celebrates his fervor for topics that would reach beyond the familiar, indeed would reach into parts unknown and spaces unexplored.

Each of the collection’s four sections explores different varieties of expansion and expansiveness in both eighteenth-century studies and general cultural history. The first probes the outer limits of communication within and without the period. The second scrutinizes the dialogue between classification and expansion. The third section reflects on the individual components in these expansive taxonomies, speculating on the relation between larger-than-life personalities and the comprehensive but sometimes reductive explanatory systems that the period prized. The final section looks at those gregarious enthusiasts of the period who, as the Earl of Shaftesbury suggested, sought ever wider arrays of friends and correspondents in the hope of creating a vivacious universe comprised of knowledge and witty conversation—witty conversation in which the surprisingly articulate universe might join.

This volume honors Jim Springer Borck by showing how his friends, colleagues, students, and disciples now probe worlds without end while replacing boundaries with opportunities, shibboleths with interrogatives, and stabilities with expansions.


Foreword: The Expanding Universe of Jim Spring Borck

Part I: Frontiers of Language and Style
Thomas Preston, Slaves, Blues, and Signifyin(g): The Vernacular Revival in Eighteenth-Century Scotland
Carol Houlihan Flynn, Dropping the Accent and Learning the Lingo: Language Trouble for Boswell, Burke, and Sancho
Kathleen “Kit” Kincade, “Fortunately, he had a younger brother who looked more promising”: Edward Ferrars as Romantic Hero?
Irving N. Rothman with Rakesh Verma, Thomas M. Woodell, and Blake Whitaker, Defoe’s Contribution to Robert Drury’s Journal: A Stylometric Analysis

Part II: Comprehending, Organizing, Taxonomizing
Matthew Landers, Anatomy and the Encyclopedia Plan: Charting the “Wilderness” of Knowledge
Phyllis Thompson, Expanding the Archive: A Galaxy of Medicinal Receipts
Patricia B. Craddock, Science in Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Robert G. Dryden, Inventing Pirates: Charting the Gentrification of Pirates and Fortune Hunters in the British Literary Imagination, 1694–1814

Part III: Personality and Greatness
Cedric D. Reverand II, Joshua Reynolds, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Sarah Siddons, and the Battle of the Tragic Muses
John J. Burke Jr., When Things Go Wrong, Terribly Wrong: Milton, Dryden, and the Politics of a Providential Universe
Alan T. Mackenzie, The Corrosion of Idle Discontent: Semantics and Syntax at Work in Company and in Print to Prevent the Spectator and the Rambler from Dwindling into Flâneurs
Henry Fulton, Fixing the Horizons of Temperament: John Moore’s Memoir of Smollett

Part IV: Expanding Circles of Acquaintance
James E. May, Edward Young’s Good-Natured Ethos in Love of Fame, The Universal Passion
Maximillian E. Novak, The “Nothingness Beyond Our Own Circle”: Circles, Sets, and Jane Austen’s Fiction