Loading...

John Bull and the Continent

by Wojciech Jasiakiewicz (Volume editor) Jakub Lipski (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 226 Pages

Summary

Ever since John Arbuthnot published The History of John Bull in 1712, the figure of John Bull has stereotypically personified the best and the worst traits of the British (or English) national character. The present work takes the eponymous juxtaposition as an incentive to study the variety of multi-faceted contacts between the two sides. Given the recent attempts at a re-definition of the relationship between Britain and the Continent – best visible in the turmoil over Britain’s EU membership – the results of the research will hopefully stimulate discussion about John Bull’s ever-changing presence within or without the Continent.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Notes on contributors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Part I: John Bull and Poland
  • Henry VIII and the Polish question
  • “Strangely unknown in England”: Poland in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British travel accounts
  • Austenian inspirations for Maria Wirtemberska’s “Original Romance”: Malvina, or the Heart’s Intuition (1816)
  • First and last refuge: France and Britain as centres of the Polish Great Emigration
  • Billy and Casp: Rediscovering forgotten translations in Polish-English cultural exchanges
  • Close encounters with John Bull: Polish narratives of disappointment with England
  • Part II: John Bull crosses the Channel
  • Samuel Johnson and Voltaire’s “Petty Cavils” on English literature
  • Identity renegotiation in Charlote Brontë’s Villette
  • The influence of continental symbolism, impressionism and post-impressionism on British writers and painters
  • Crossing the Channel with Julian Barnes: A brief (hi)story of fulfilment, misapprehension and disillusionment
  • Living through the benign nightmares? (Re)contextualising in-yer-face theatre
  • Two world wars and one World Cup: Attitudes and expressions to ‘the Continent’ in John King’s England Away
  • Part III: John Bull in Italy
  • Radcliffe’s capricci: The prisons of the Inquisition in The Italian
  • “My heart is sore / For my own land’s sins”: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s relationship with Italy

← 6 | 7 → Notes on contributors

Adam Aleksandrowicz lives and works in Lublin, Poland. He is a graduate of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, and his master’s thesis concerned space in the nineteenth-century English novel. His scholarly interests are centred around contemporary English fiction, and he is currently preparing his doctoral dissertation on the novels of Graham Swift. His recent publications include articles on Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan.

Michał Borodo is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, where he is also the Head of Postgraduate Studies for Translators and Interpreters. He has published on various topics in Translation Studies, and his main research interests include translation and language in the context of globalisation, the translation of children’s literature and comics, as well as translator training.

Miłosz K. Cybowski is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Southampton. His research concentrates on the Polish-British relations in the nineteenth century, particularly in the period following the November Uprising. He is an active member of the Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research and the editor of the online Polish cultural journal “Esensja” (www.esensja.pl).

Stephen Dewsbury is Senior Lecturer at the University of Opole. He has published on a variety of themes which include such topics as a criticism of the excesses of the conservative political elite and the Bullingdon Club, an analysis of ugliness in the post-colonial discourse of the Ghanaian author Ayi Kwei Armah, and an examination of capital punishment by hanging in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century London. He is currently working towards his doctoral thesis.

Daniel Evers is reading for a PhD in English at the University of Bristol. He is writing a comparative study of British and American poetic responses to the European revolutions of 1848-51. His research includes poetry by Walt Whitman, Arthur Hugh Clough and the Brownings. He has recently been published in The Victorian journal.

Wojciech Jasiakiewicz is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz. He is the author of Brytyjska Opinia ← 7 | 8 → Publiczna wobec Powstania Listopadowego w Polsce w okresie 1830-1834 (1997) [British Public Opinion and the November Insurrection in Poland in the period of 1830-1834], Polska działalność propagandowa w Wielkiej Brytanii w dobie powstania styczniowego w świetle korespondencji, pamiętników, publicystyki i prasy (2001) [Polish Propaganda in Great Britain during Polish January Insurrection of 1863 in the Light of Correspondence, Diaries, Political Writing and Press], and ‘Woefullest of Nations’ Or ‘European America’? British Travel Accounts of Poland 1863 (2010).

Jakub Lipski is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz. His research concentrates on the eighteenth-century British novel, particularly the works of Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne and Ann Radcliffe. He is the author of In Quest of the Self: Masquerade and Travel in the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Fielding, Smollett, Sterne (2014).

Tomasz Niedokos lectures in British Culture and History of England at John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. His research interest include literary London, English Christian writers, psychogeography, memory and identity. He is the author of The Concept of English Culture in the Cultural Biographies of Peter Ackroyd (2011).

Magdalena Ożarska is Associate Professor at Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce. Her research interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English and Polish women’s self writing and early novels. She is the author of Lacework or Mirror? Diary Poetics of Frances Burney, Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Shelley (2013).

Dariusz Pestka is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz. He is the author of Oscar Wilde: Between Æstheticism and Anticipation of Modernism (1999) and The Ultimate Expressiveness in Literature and Other Arts: From the Post-Romantic to the Postmodernist (2008).

Douglas T. Root obtained his PhD from the University of Georgia in 2010 and is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Georgia Southern University. His most recent publication is “‘Two Most Un-Clubbable Men’: Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Johnson, and their Social Circles” (2014) (published in Ileana Baird (ed.) Social Networks in the Long Eighteenth Century: Clubs, Literary Salons, Textual Coteries. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 243-66).

← 8 | 9 → Małgorzata Rutkowska is Assistant Professor of American Literature in the Institute of English, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin. Her research interests include American and British travel writing as well as Animal Studies. She is the author of In Search of America. The Image of the United States in Travel Writing of the 1980s and 1990s (2006).

Krystyna Urbisz Golkowska holds a PhD in English literature from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Before joining Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, where she serves as Director of ESL and Writing Seminars, she had taught for many years at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Her research interests include English literature, sociolinguistics, composition studies and intercultural communication.

Maciej Wieczorek is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Studies in Drama and Pre-1800 English Literature at the University of Łódź. His academic interests include contemporary British drama, with a particular focus on in-yer-face drama, as well as theories of theatre. He has published on the plays of Sarah Kane, Anthony Neilson and Debbie Tucker Green. He is the editor-in-chief of Analyses/Rereadings/Theories Journal.← 9 | 10 →

← 10 | 11 → Acknowledgements

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the reviewers of the essays collected in this volume: Prof. Marek Błaszak, Prof. Grażyna Bystydzieńska, Prof. Marta Wiszniowska-Majchrzyk, dr hab. Jacek Mydla and dr hab. Agnieszka Setecka. This book would not have been brought to the present shape without their insightful comments and suggestions. Our thanks are also due to Dr Michael Oliver, who kindly agreed to proof-read the manuscript at very short notice. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the support of Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, without whose subsidy this book would not have been published.← 11 | 12 →

← 12 | 13 → Preface

The following articles have been written in response to a call for papers issued by the Department of English at Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz. For about a decade, one of its primary areas of research has been literary and cultural contacts between Britain and Poland. This was our starting point, though the outcome is fortunately much broader and more comprehensive.

The figure of John Bull has stereotypically personified Great Britain ever since John Arbuthnot published The History of John Bull in 1712. The pamphlet introduced the personage as “an honest, plain-dealing fellow, choleric, bold, and of a very unconstant temper” (Arbuthnot 2008: Chap. 5), which from then on was taken to represent the best and the worst traits of the British (or English) national character. The perspectives adopted in the present volume, however, extend the meaning of the metaphor, taking the eponymous juxtaposition between John Bull and Continental Europe as an incentive to study the variety of multi-faceted relationships and influences between the two sides.

Part I – “John Bull and Poland” – is concerned with direct and indirect contacts between Britain and Poland from the sixteenth century to the present. Wojciech Jasiakiewicz compares the socio-political situation in Tudor England and post-1944 Poland; Małgorzata Rutkowska studies the representation of Poland in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British travel accounts; Magdalena Ożarska traces probable Austenian inspirations for Maria Wirtemberska’s Malvina; Miłosz Cybowski re-creates the situation of Polish emigrants in nineteenth-century France and Britain and compares the immigration policies of the two countries; Michał Borodo sheds new light on forgotten translations of Polish children’s books into English; while Tomasz Niedokos offers a comparative analysis of two Polish narratives of disappointment with England. Part II – “John Bull crosses the Channel” – focuses on Britain’s relations with her immediate Continental neighbours: France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Douglas Root reveals surprising affinities between Samuel Johnson’s and Voltaire’s literary criticism; Krystyna Golkowska is concerned with the ways in which Charlotte Brontë re-negotiates Englishness by setting her novel Villette in francophone Belgium; Dariusz Pestka analyses the indebtedness of British writers and painters to continental symbolists, impressionists and post-impressionists; Adam Aleksandrowicz re-constructs the image of France in Julian Barnes’s fiction; Maciej Wieczorek argues for a re-contextualisation of in-yer-face theatre which would account for its affinities with the ideas of Antonin Artaud; whereas Stephen Dewsbury ← 13 | 14 → concentrates on English attitudes towards Germany and Holland as reflected in John King’s England Away. Finally, Part III – “John Bull in Italy” – includes two articles on Anglo-Italian relations in the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth century. Jakub Lipski maps Ann Radcliffe’s fanciful representation of the prisons of the Inquisition in The Italian, while the Italianate sympathies of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, reflected in her poetry and correspondence, are addressed by Daniel Evers.

Recent years have brought attempts at a considerable re-definition of the relationship between Britain and Continental Europe. This is best visible in the turmoil over Britain’s membership in the European Union, which culminated in The UK Independence Party receiving the greatest number of votes (over 27%) in the 2014 European Parliament election. The UKIP leader Nigel Farage, otherwise known as the Fighting Bull (Farage 2010), can certainly be credited with the title of the most recognisable embodiment of John Bull these days. We believe that in this socio-political context the results of our research will be of particular relevance and will thus gain in importance. As such, they will hopefully stimulate discussion about John Bull’s ever-changing presence within or without the Continent.

References

Arbuthnot, John. 2008. The History of John Bull. The Project Gutenberg EBook of The History of John Bull. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2643/2643-h/2643-h.htm>. Date of access: 6 Dec. 2014.

Farage, Nigel. 2010. Fighting Bull. London: Biteback.

Jakub Lipski

Details

Pages
226
ISBN (PDF)
9783653044959
ISBN (ePUB)
9783653983586
ISBN (MOBI)
9783653983579
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631653203
Language
English
Publication date
2015 (April)
Published
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 226 pp.

Biographical notes

Wojciech Jasiakiewicz (Volume editor) Jakub Lipski (Volume editor)

Wojciech Jasiakiewicz is Associate Professor at Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz (Poland). He has written a monograph on British travel accounts of Poland. Jakub Lipski is Assistant Professor at Kazimierz Wielki University. His research concerns the eighteenth-century novel and culture, particularly the works of Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne and Ann Radcliffe.

Previous

Title: John Bull and the Continent