“A Sort of Second London in Every Thing but Vitiousness”: Bristol in Eighteenth-Century Poetry, 1700–1750
This chapter focuses on Bristol, UK and two of the most significant poems written about the city in the first half of the eighteenth century: William Goldwin’s A Poetical Description of Bristol (1712) and Richard Savage’s London and Bristol Delineated (1744). Both poems insist that Bristol is best understood in relation to the nation’s “alpha” city, London, but their ways of conceiving the nature of that relationship are diametrically opposed. Goldwin’s prospect poem aims to showcase Bristol as a polite, civilized urban environment capable of challenging London’s status. Savage’s satire lambasts such ideas as foolish pretentiousness. In reading these poems, the chapter contributes to discussions about the literary representations of second cities as well as recent scholarly debates about the role of the provincial city in eighteenth-century poetry.
KeywordsBristol William Goldwin Richard Savage Eighteenth-century poetry Satire Prospect poetry Provincial cities
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