Note: Cobbett

October, 1997

Most critics have agreed that the character of Ryland is based at least in part on William Cobbett (1763?-1835), the journalist and popular political reformer. His Political Register was an extremely influential journal, famous for being deliberately priced at two pence, in part to reach a working-class audience (and to avoid a tax). Cobbett fled to America to escape prosecution in 1817, but returned as one of the leaders of the parliamentary Reform movement.


Pyle, "Letter on an Aestheticist Education"

Pyle's epistolary essay approaches the topic of a sublime education first as a particular pedagogical assignment: just how does one teach the sublime as a mode of aesthetic experience as well as a question posed for and by philosophical aesthetics. This directive prompts readings of two poems by Shelley which explicitly link aesthetic experience to forms of instruction: 'Hymn to Intellectual Beauty' and 'Mont Blanc.' He argues that one lesson to be learned from Shelley's poetic teaching is an aestheticism. Subsequent sections in the essay address the implications of this aestheticism for those who resist it (de Man, Spivak) and those who don't (Wilde, Foucault). He concludes the essay by turning to a passage—at once sublime and pedagogical—from _The Triumph of Life_ which arrives at what he calls a genuinely radical aestheticism.. This essay appears in _The Sublime and Education_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (, University of Maryland.

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