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"State of Nature, Stages of Society"Enlightenment Conjectural History and Modern Social Discourse$
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Frank Palmeri

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231175166

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231175166.001.0001

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Novels as Conjectural Histories

Novels as Conjectural Histories

(p.225) 7 Novels as Conjectural Histories
"State of Nature, Stages of Society"

Frank Palmeri

Columbia University Press

The final chapter considers fictional narrative as a form of conjectural social thought in novels by Scott, Eliot, and Wells that examine the transition from pre-modern to modern social forms; these novels reveal a deep ambivalence toward modernity and secularization that was already notable in the conjectural histories of the Enlightenment.

Keywords:   novels, historical novel, fiction, progress, Scott, Eliot, Wells, Balzac

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