Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

British Orientalisms, 1759–1835


Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from September 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108472661

£ 75.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • How did Britons understand their relationship with the East in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? James Watt's new study remaps the literary history of British Orientalisms between 1759, the 'year of victories' in the Seven Years' War, and 1835, when T. B. Macaulay published his polemical 'Minute on Indian Education'. It explores the impact of the war on Britons' cultural horizons, and the different and shifting ways in which Britons conceived of themselves and their nation as 'open' to the East across this period. Considering the emergence of new forms and styles of writing in the context of an age of empire and revolution, Watt examines how the familiar 'Eastern' fictions of the past were adapted, reworked, and reacted against. In doing so he illuminates the larger cultural conflict which animated a nation debating with itself about its place in the world and relation to its others.

    • Sheds new light on the cultural relationship between Britain and the East in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
    • Recovers little known literary texts and considers them in dialogue with canonical texts
    • Provides a more nuanced exploration of the idea of 'openness' to the East in an age of Empire and Revolution
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108472661
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Britain, Empire, and 'openness' to the East
    1. 'Those islanders': British orientalisms and the Seven Years' War
    2. 'Indian details': fictions of British India, 1774–1789
    3. 'All Asia is covered in prisons': oriental despotism and British liberty in an age of revolutions
    4. 'In love with the Gopia': Sir William Jones and his contemporaries
    5. 'Imperial dotage' and poetic ornament in romantic orientalist verse narrative
    6. Cockney translation: Leigh Hunt and Charles Lamb's eastern imaginings
    7. 'It is otherwise in Asia': 'character' and improvement in picaresque fiction
    Conclusion: British orientalisms, Empire, and improvement

  • Author

    James Watt, University of York
    James Watt is a former Director of the University of York's interdisciplinary Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. His previous publications include Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre, and Cultural Conflict, 1764-1832 (Cambridge, 1999), and an edition of Clara Reeve's The Old English Baron (2003). He has published numerous essays and articles in edited collections and in journals including Eighteenth Century Life and The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.