A symbiotic relationship: Anna Barbauld's ideal of moral progress through science and imagination

Pallard, Jessica Thérèse (2007) A symbiotic relationship: Anna Barbauld's ideal of moral progress through science and imagination. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Anna Letitia Barbauld's work mediates between the extremes of Enlightenment rationalism and Romantic imagination. Through readings ofsome of her scientifically focused poetry, such as "The Mouse's Petition," "An Inventory ofthe Furniture in Dr. Priestley's Study," "To Mr. S. T. Coleridge," "Washing-Day," and "The Invitation," as well as the prose work, "Hill of Science: A Dream-Vision," this thesis demonstrates how Barbauld saw science and poetry, reason and imagination, as symbiotic, mutually dependent concepts integral to society's political, cultural, and social well being. These works are discussed in the context of her Dissenting background, her friendship with Joseph Priestley, and her commitment to the educational principles ofthe Warrington Academy. The thesis examines Barbauld's sympathetic evaluation ofthe merits and shortcomings ofscientific objectivity and imaginative subjectivity and focuses on her fundamental goal of promoting moral responsibility and integrity in the actions of scientists and poets alike.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11192
Item ID: 11192
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 119-135).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 2007
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Imagination in literature; Literature and science--History--18th century; Literature and science--History--19th century; Responsibility in literature.

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