Advertisement

Shelley, Alcohol, and the “world we make”: Habit’s Patterns in The Cenci

  • Adam Colman
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)

Abstract

This chapter argues that Percy Shelley derived his poetics from engagement with his age’s discourse surrounding alcohol habit. Tracing Shelley’s ideas on habit from his early writings on diet through his later tragedy, The Cenci, and his Defence of Poetry, Colman shows how Shelley framed salutary habits (including engagement with poetry) as those that might counteract toxic habits, which Shelley had earlier come to understand in light of the work on alcohol habit by Thomas Trotter, among others. Shelley had, in his early work, contended that alcohol habit could shape a terrible social world, and in The Cenci, the habitually drinking villain Count Cenci does shape such a terrible world. This chapter argues that The Cenci’s tragic heroine Beatrice represents radical habits and patterns that could defeat toxic, predatory habit.

Bibliography

  1. addiction, n. Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press. 16 April 2017.Google Scholar
  2. Axon, William E. A. 1888. Dr. Thomas Forster and Shelley. Notes and Queries s7–VI.140 (September 1): 161–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bacon, Francis. 1974. The Advancement of Learning and New Atlantis, ed. Thomas Case. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bailey, Peter. 1987. Leisure and Class in Victorian England: Rational Recreation and the Contest for Control, 1830–1885. New York: Methuen.Google Scholar
  5. Betz, Laura Wells. 2010. ‘At Once Mild and Animating’: Prometheus Unbound and Shelley’s Spell of Style. European Romantic Review 21 (2): 161–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Budge, Gavin. 2013. Romanticism, Medicine, and the Natural Supernatural: Transcendent Vision and Bodily Spectres, 1789–1852. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Burke, Edmund. 1986. Reflections on the Revolution in France. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  8. Clery, E.J. 2001. Horace Walpole’s The Mysterious Mother and the Impossibility of Female Desire. In Essays and Studies 2001: The Gothic, ed. Fred Botting, 23–46. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer.Google Scholar
  9. Cox, Jeffrey N. 2002. English Gothic Literature. In The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, 124–144. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Crouch, Laura E. 1978. Davy’s A Discourse Introductory to a Course of Lectures on Chemistry: A Possible Source of Frankenstein. Keats-Shelley Journal 27: 35–44.Google Scholar
  11. Curran, Stuart. 1970. Shelley’s Cenci: Scorpions Ringed with Fire. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Darwin, Erasmus. 1805. Zoonomia, or, the Laws of Organic Life. Vol. 1. Boston: Thomas and Andrews.Google Scholar
  13. De Quincey, Thomas. 2003. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings, ed. Barry Milligan. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  14. Deleuze, Gilles. 1994. Difference and Repetition. Trans. Paul Patton. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Duffy, Cian. 2005. Shelley and the Revolutionary Sublime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Freud, Sigmund. 1989. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Trans. James Strachey. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  17. Grabo, Carl. 1930. A Newton Among Poets: Shelley’s Use of Science. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  18. Haswell, Richard. 1976. Shelley’s ‘The Revolt of Islam’: ‘The Connexion of Its Parts’. Keats-Shelley Journal 25: 81–102.Google Scholar
  19. Hayter, Alethea. 1968. Opium and the Romantic Imagination. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  20. Hogle, Jerrold E. 2002. Transference Perverted: The Cenci as Shelley’s Great Exposé. In Shelley’s Poetry and Prose, ed. Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat, 684–694. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  21. Holmes, Richard. 1994. Shelley: The Pursuit. New York: New York Review Books.Google Scholar
  22. Hume, David. 1941. A Treatise of Human Nature, ed. L.A. Selby-Bigge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. ———. 1983. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  24. Iser, Wolfgang. 1997 Fall/Winter 1998. The Significance of Fictionalizing. Anthropoetics 3 (2). Web.Google Scholar
  25. Jarvis, Simon. 2004. Criticism, Taste, Aesthetics. In The Cambridge Companion to English Literature: 1740–1830, ed. Thomas Keymer and Jon Mee. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Keach, William. 1984. Shelley’s Style. New York: Methuen.Google Scholar
  27. Lawrence, Christopher. 1988. Cullen, Brown and the Poverty of Essentialism. In Brunonianism in Britain and Europe, ed. W.F. Bynum and Roy Porter, 1–21. London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.Google Scholar
  28. Leighton, Angela. 1984. Shelley and the Sublime: An Interpretation of the Major Poems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Marshall, David. 1988. The Surprising Effects of Sympathy: Marivaux, Diderot, Rousseau, and Mary Shelley. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  30. Milligan, Barry. 1995. Pleasures and Pains: Opium and the Orient in Nineteenth-Century British Culture. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.Google Scholar
  31. Morton, Timothy. 1994. Shelley and the Revolution in Taste: The Body and the Natural World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Pinch, Adela. 1996. Strange Fits of Passion: Epistemologies of Emotion, Hume to Austen. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Porter, Roy. 1992. Doctor of Society: Thomas Beddoes and the Sick Trade in Late-Enlightenment England. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Richardson, Alan. 2010. The Neural Sublime: Cognitive Theories and Romantic Texts. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Ruston, Sharon. 2005. Vegetarianism and Vitality in the Work of Thomas Forster, William Lawrence, and P.B. Shelley. Keats-Shelley Journal 54: 113–132.Google Scholar
  36. Schmid, Thomas H. 2009. Addiction and Isolation in Frankenstein: A Case of Terminal Uniqueness. Gothic Studies 11 (2): 19–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Scott, William O. 1958. Shelley’s Admiration for Bacon. PMLA 73 (3): 228–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shelley, Percy Bysshe. 1840. Speculations on Morals. In Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments, ed. Mary Shelley, vol. 1, 197–210. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard.Google Scholar
  39. ———. 1845. Essay on the Literature, the Arts, and the Manners of the Athenians. In Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments, ed. Mary Shelley, 15–17. London: Edward Moxon.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 1993. A Vindication of Natural Diet. In The Prose Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, ed. E.B. Murray, vol. 1, 77–91. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. ———. 2002. Shelley’s Poetry and Prose, ed. Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  42. Singer, Katherine. 2009. Stoned Shelley: Revolutionary Tactics and Women Under the Influence. Studies in Romanticism 48.4 (Winter): 687–707.Google Scholar
  43. Siskin, Clifford. 1988. The Historicity of Romantic Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Taylor, Anya. 1999. Bacchus in Romantic England: Writers and Drink, 1780–1830. New York: St. Martin’s Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Trotter, Thomas. 1813. An Essay, Medical, Philosophical, and Chemical, on Drunkenness. Philadelphia: Anthony Finley.Google Scholar
  46. Weinberg, Alan. 1991. Shelley’s Italian Experience. New York: St. Martin’s Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wordsworth, William. 1800. Preface to Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems. In The Lyrical Ballads, ed. Michael Gamer and Dahlia Porter, 171–187. New York: Broadview.Google Scholar
  48. Young, George. 1753. A Treatise on Opium, Founded upon Practical Observations. London: A. Millar.Google Scholar
  49. Zieger, Susan. 2008. Inventing the Addict: Drugs, Race, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Colman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations