By Emrys Jones
Friendship and Allegiance builds on fresh scholarly curiosity either in friendship itself and extra generally within the courting among privateness and exposure within the eighteenth century. It investigates how the belief of private friendship might be distorted by way of its function in public discourse and even if friendship's worth or which means can ever be securely confirmed in the course of wider political, social and cultural debates. The booklet deals new methods of brooding about eighteenth-century friendship and in regards to the popular authors of the time who tried to make feel of it.
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Extra info for Friendship and Allegiance in Eighteenth-Century Literature: The Politics of Private Virtue in the Age of Walpole
1 Gregg sees the friendship between Captain Singleton and his Quaker comrade William Walters as problematic not merely because of its closeness and the threat that this might pose to normative sexual and social relationships; this friendship is potentially dangerous as much for the awkward situation of these friends in relation to the smooth conduct of public commerce and national trade. The friendship of William and Bob, as Gregg sees it, lacks ‘a public and civic dimension’. 2 As has been shown in the previous chapter, this use of Pope as the standard voice of social conservatism, safeguarding the values of male friendship from political and financial vicissitudes, may not be immune to complication itself.
If the word alternatively is seen as preparing the reader for William’s intimacy with the narrator, then it is telling that William goes on from it to negotiate terms which are decidedly unfavourable to his captor. Singleton acknowledges as much a few pages later when he comments on the nature of William’s place on the ship. 29 William makes it his business to live off the sins of others, just as the worst stock-jobbers of 1720 encouraged greed, and just as Peter Walter sowed the seeds of avarice in his noble clients so as to reap the profits himself with impunity.
30 Several weeks later, on a similar note, the author, writing under the name of T. 31 This is followed by the critical verdict that ‘to triumph in the Calamities of our Neighbours is not only hard, but ’tis unchristian, ’tis Moorish, and Barbarous’. 33 The remainder of this chapter aims, if not to comprehensively identify the motives for such individual action, at least to show that such action was itself a significant cause for concern among writers of the time, and that the basis for private friendships consequently became a source of much unease and controversy.