Popular Sovereignty and the Role of the Writer in the 1790s
In looking closely at how theories about the role of the intellectual or the writer are developed as part of the 1790s' contestation of the concept of the majesty of the people, this book contributes to understanding of authorship and the rise of 'culture' in this period. The book focuses on the writing of figures that advance various conceptions of the role of the intellectual in relation to the Majesty of the People. It proceeds via an analysis of the concept of
the Majesty of the People in the writing of six figures sympathetic to reform in the 1790s: John Thelwall, Thomas Paine, Helen Maria Williams, William Godwin, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William
Wordsworth. These enquiries demonstrate the impact of the idea of the Majesty of the People in the 1790s and in emerging conceptions of the role of culture in society.