Allan Ingram


University of Northumbria at Newcastle.
Allan Ingram is Professor of English at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. He took his first degree and his doctorate at the University of Nottingham, and has published and spoken widely on eighteenth-century topics. His books include monographs on James Boswell, on Swift and Pope, and on eighteenth-century mad writing in England. His most recent publications are Voices of Madness, an edition of four “mad” pamphlets (Sutton Publishing) and Patterns of Madness in the Eighteenth Century, a collection of medical and “mad” writings on insanity (Liverpool University Press).

Articles de l'auteur


Cycnos | Volume 19 n°1

Resisting Insanity: Language and Disorder in Eighteenth-Century Writing about Madness

“In 1755, nine years after signing his contract with the booksellers of London, Samuel Johnson finally published the work which was to establish him unshakeably as his time's most formidable man of letters, and for which he was to receive, in stages, 1500 guineas, his Dictionary of the English Language. The year 1746 had been, to quote Robert DeMaria Jr, “pivotal” in Johnson's life, a year in which “everything changed,” including his state of reliance upon the uncertainty of freelance work, his nomadic London existence, and even his own doubts about his future as a writer.1 Johnson in his 1755 “Preface,” however, is famously dismissive about his achievement, and in fa...”

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Cycnos | Volume 16 n°1

Political Hypochondria: The Case of James Boswell

Boswell yearned for most of his life for a political career, attempting to achieve office both through his own efforts and through the patronage of others. His own political views were those of an orthodox, at times extreme, Tory. Their origins, however, were complicated and involved Boswell’s own attraction to feudal lairdship in a romanticised Scottish past, as well as stresses and rivalries with his own Whig father. Moreover, his Torysm was also complicated by his sense of personal unworthiness, deepened by his doubts over succeeding his father as laird of Auchinleck. These fears in their turn were sustained by, and encouraged, his temperamental hypochondria, with its self-contempt and visions of futility. Political success would have given a measure of stability, and would have been a proof of worthiness, both for himself and for his father. As it was, his faith in land, order, male succession, political office were undermined by self-doubt, changeability, failure, fear of failure: political hypochondria.

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