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Monstrous Fellowship

‘Pagan, Turk and Jew’ in English Popular Culture, 1780–1845


Toni Wein

This book brings together a range of texts and events: nineteenth-century novels and plays, riots on the streets and stages of London, popular games, artwork, criminal profiles and political economy. Tying these topics together is the spectacle created around «Pagan, Turk and Jew», a phrase appearing as early as 1548, and one that came to denominate fictional stand-ins for Irish Catholics, Muslims and Jews during the long nineteenth century.

Beginning with the Gordon riots of 1780, these «Others» were objectified as exotic bodies and used oppositionally against one another, both in policy and legislation and in cultural representations. Surveying literary works by Maria Edgeworth and Charles Dickens, as well as the work of lesser known figures such as Richard Cumberland, John Thomas Smith and Patrick Colquhoun, the author studies the role played by racial marking and ethnic stereotyping in the solidification of a post-riot British social body through both real and virtual spaces. Unlike other studies of minority experience and culture that concern a single population, this book casts a wider net, believing racist and religious bias to be a reactionary dynamic, prey to a host of struggles occurring simultaneously that ricochet off one another in the contestatory culture of the Romantic era.

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