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From Dystopia to Utopia

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Part of the Romanticism in Perspective: Texts, Cultures, Histories book series (ROPTCH)

Abstract

Commenting on Salisbury Cathedral in the travelogue A Journey into Cornwall (1799), George Lipscomb, like most other contemporary travel writers, focuses on the spire and especially its ‘astonishing height’.1 The tall spire interests Lipscomb because it has ‘frequently been noticed’ by others, and he reports well known facts that explain how and why others have viewed it before him. He offers two historical examples: ‘Among the extraordinary feats which have been attempted’, he writes,

a story is related here of a man who stood upon the very top of this spire (four hundred feet from the ground) at the time when King Charles the second visited Salisbury, and continued there while he sung a loyal song in the King’s hearing: after he had descended he waited upon his Majesty, requesting the honor of Knighthood as a mark of the King’s favour and as a reward of this singular proof of his attachment. The good humoured monarch remarked, that he could not think of making him a Knight, but that he was very ready to issue letters patent, giving him an exclusive right of climbing all the steeples in England and forbidding any other of his loving subjects from an encroachment upon this privilege, by attempting to do the like.

It is a well known fact that when his present Majesty was at Salisbury a few years ago in his road to Weymouth, some man, in imitation of the above-mentioned feat, seated himself also on the spire, and there sung ‘God save the King’.2

Keywords

Lake District Green Spot Ordnance Survey Ideological Critique Travel Writer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    G. Lipscomb, A Journey into Cornwall, Through the Counties of Southhampton, Wilts, Dorset, Somerset & Devon: Interspersed with Remarks, Moral, Historical, Literary, and Political (Warwick, 1799 ) p. 58.Google Scholar
  2. 12.
    B.R. Goodey, ‘Mapping “Utopia”: A Comment on the Geography of Sir Thomas More’, Geographical Review, 60 (1970) pp. 15–30;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. L. Marin, ‘Frontiers of Utopia: Past and Present’, Critical Inquiry 19 (Winter 1993) pp. 397–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. E. Bowen and T. Kitchin, Map of Wiltshire, The Royal English Atlas: Eighteenth Century County Maps of England and Wales (Newton Abbot: David & Charles Reprints, 1971).Google Scholar
  5. 33.
    S. Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution ( New York: Vintage, 1989 ) p. 771.Google Scholar
  6. 38.
    W. Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990) pp. 136–46 and 259.Google Scholar
  7. 53.
    W. Wordsworth, ‘Preface to the Lyrical Ballads’, Lyrical Ballads and Other Poems, 1797–1800, eds J. Butler and K. Green, The Cornell Wordsworth ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992 ) p. 752.Google Scholar
  8. 55.
    W. Crowe, Lewesdon Hill: A Poem (Oxford, 1788) pp. 13–14.Google Scholar
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    J. Williams, Wordsworth’s Romantic Poetry and Revolution Politics ( Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989 ) p. 11.Google Scholar
  10. 59.
    A. Marvell, ‘The Garden’, George Herbert and the Seventeenth Century Religious Poets ed. M.A. Di Cesare (New York: Norton, 1978) lns 47–8.Google Scholar
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    Cf. P. Larkin, ‘The Secondary Wordsworth’s First of Homes: Home at Grasmere’, Wordsworth Circle, 16 (Spring 1985 ) p. 107.Google Scholar
  12. 76.
    J. Nicolson and R. Burn, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, 2 vols (London, 1777 );Google Scholar
  13. C. Smith, Smith’s New and Accurate Map of the Lakes, in the Counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire (London, 1829).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Wiley 1998

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