English 562                                                                                                                                                           Dr.  Morillo
Eighteenth-Century Literature                                                                                                                                Winston 17
Second Paper Assignment:
Due in class, Friday, March 3 .

Pick one:

Option one, Secondary Research:  Critical Review of Recent Scholarship on an Eighteenth-Century Work
For this 5-6 page paper, first choose any work on the syllabus (other than the one you did your close-reading of ) that you would like to explore further, and then select one published criticism of that work.  It may be in print or online, but it needs to be from no earlier than 1996 if at all possible.  Evaluate the chosen critical essay.  You will  need to do several things before you can write your paper: be able to summarize the critic’s argument and address its strengths and weaknesses. Although you will weigh the argument against your own interpretation of that primary text, your own interpretation is not the focus of this paper and needs to be brought in judiciously enough to keep the main focus on the argument of the critic you are evaluating.  Also consider the following issues: how to structure your paper; whether to include an explicit summary of the critical piece or not; how to evaluate the author’s assumptions, claims, theoretical stance, evidence etc.; how to evaluate style and readability.  Be critical but also respectful of other peoples’ ideas. Criticism  need not be synonymous with attack.
The genre for this paper is a review.  Most academic journals publish reviews of books in every issue, and you can model your text on that by reading some. You'll see that whether the target text is a long book or shorter essay, the critical review of it is frequently between 500 and 1500 words. Though the review is certainly a genre, there's good room for variation within it.
Along with your critical review, be sure to turn in a Xerox or other copy of the published criticism if it is a short essay or book chapter, or turn in a copy of the journal number or the book if it is too long to copy easily.
Some sources for criticism beyond the reserve list:
Print Journals


Eighteenth-Century Life
Eighteenth-Century Studies
The Age of Johnson
Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-   1700
1650-1850 : Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era
British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation

For more sources and descriptions of these, see http://www.c18.org/so/revues18.html 
For the latest studies, and an excellent search engine for browsing them, see the Selected Readings link at C18-L:

Option Two, Primary Textual & Historical Research
The new availability online of full-text primary texts from the 17th and 18th centuries, books once limited to the dusty shelves of select archives, makes it far more possible now for graduate students to get a taste of doing some archival, primary work.  Here is your task:
Our NCSU D. H. Hill Library catalog is now directly linked with a host of specialized databases, including EEBO (Early English Books Online). You will use your
Demaria copy of Tale of a Tub, EEBO, and any other research works you deem relevant for this assignment.
In the main catalog, a search for key word in title for "tale of a tub" turns up two pages of entries. Here is the second page,  with the texts published between 1600 and 1704 listed verbatim:

Trepidantium malleus intrepidanter malleatus, or, The west-country wise-akers crack-brain'd reprimand (to a late book called Mr. Keith no Presbyterian, nor Quaker, but George the apostate) [electronic resource] : hammered about his own numscul being a joco-satyrical return to a late tale of a tub emitted by a reverend non-con at prsent residing not far from Bedlam

Author: W. C.
Published: 1696.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

A tale in a tub, or, A tub lecture [electronic resource] : as it was delivered by Mi-Heele Mendsoale, an inspired Brownist and a most upright translator in a meeting house neere Bedlam, the one and twentieth of December last, 1641
Author: Taylor, John, 1580-1653.
Published: 1642.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

A full and compleat answer against the writer of a late volume set forth [electronic resource] : entituled A tale in a tub, or, A tub lecture : with a vindication of that ridiculous name called roundheads : together with some excellent verses on the defacing of Cheapside crosse : also proving that it is far better to preach in a boat than in a tub
Author: Taylor, John, 1580-1653.
Published: 1642.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

A tale in a tub, or, A tub lecture [electronic resource] : as it was delivered by my-heele Mendsoale and inspired Brownist and a most upright translator : in a meeting house neere Bedlam the one and twentieth of December, last 1641
Author: Taylor, John, 1580-1653.
Published: 1641.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

What to Do:
First decide which of these texts is relevant to understanding the cultural context of Swift's Tale of a Tub. Read each one via EEBO. Just as with Swift, you must sort out whether the text is straight or satiric, authoritative or crackpot, and if there's any history you need to know to interpret them well. Then construct an argument about whether these texts are relevant to understanding Swift's more famous Tub, and if they are, why they are. Be cautious about single-source claims of influence. You are likely dealing in probabilities, not certainties. Consider how to address the probability of whether Swfit knew these texts from the 1640s or not, how he would have had access to them, and what he would have thought of them. Imagine you are out to convince an editor of a new critical edition of Swift's Tale whether it is important to add a footnote about any or all of these texts.
Remember, if you need information about people, go to the Dictionary of National Biography for all Britons, and to the Dictionary of Literary Biography vols. (neither is online, alas) for writers of more canonized literature.

Further questions? email me morillo@unity.ncsu.edu

 Return to Eng 562 Syllabus