Reading Christopher Smart in the Twenty-first Century

Min Wild and Noel Chevalier

"By Succession of Delight"

274 pages
ISBN 9781611485196

Poet, essayist, actor, hymn-writer, wit, magazine editor, transvestite stage performer: Christopher Smart, Georgian don-turned-writer, was all of these. He was, and remains, a mercurial individual, an idiosyncratic yet strangely familiar writer of spiritual heights and material depths. His paradoxical exuberance fascinates scholars of eighteenth-century culture, and this collection of essays, a snapshot of current scholarship from both new and established Smart scholars, offers, among others, literary, theological, dramatic and philosophical perspectives on his writing. Here are new ways of reading familiar Smart works - including the astonishing, devout poem of his incarceration, Jubilate Agno - and unfamiliar ones, such as his translations and writing for children. Unexpected readers of Smart, from Coleridge to a testy anonymous annotator, are examined, and Smart's sacred translations and profane stage presence each find a place. Tom Keymer's re-evaluating afterword finds the quality of "betweenness" in Smart's work: between eras, between genres, between forms, Smart's vitality demands reassessment for each new generation of readers.

Contributors: Karina Williamson, Min Wild, Rosalind Powell, Fraser Easton, Clement Hawes, William E. Levine, Noel Chevalier, Lori A. Branch, Daniel J. Ennis, Chris Mounsey, Debbie Welham, Tom Keymer.

About the authors:

Min Wild lectures in eighteenth-century literature and theory at Plymouth University, UK. She is the author of Christopher Smart and Satire (Ashgate, 2008).

Noel Chevalier teaches English at Luther College, University of Regina. He has published articles on Jubilate Agno and on Smart's challenge to "legitimate" playhouses in Mrs. Midnight's Oratory.


Places I've Been

The following links are virtual breadcrumbs marking the 12 most recent pages you have visited in If you want to remember a specific page forever click the pin in the top right corner and we will be sure not to replace it. Close this message.