The Evolution of the Plagiarist: Natural History in Anna Seward's Order of Poetics

  title={The Evolution of the Plagiarist: Natural History in Anna Seward's Order of Poetics},
  author={Melissa Bailes},
  journal={Eighteenth-Century Life},
  pages={105 - 126}
This essay explains Anna Seward's famous, vitriolic attacks on the poetic plagiarisms of Charlotte Smith by examining them within the framework of natural history. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the vocabularies and methodologies of natural history overlapped with those of literary criticism. Taxonomic concerns with fixity and dynamism, with order and hybridity, permeated Seward's critical endeavors, which were central to her literary reputation. It is my contention that… 
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