A manuscript-circulated coterie poetess, then a (long-forgotten) pioneer in the rise of the English novel, Jacobite novelist Jane Barker witnessed with much distrust and distaste the rise of business-and tradesmen in early eighteenth-century British society. Standing at the crossroad between the two worlds and world-pictures of the Jacobite court at Saint-Germain en Laye and Hanoverian Britain, deeply concerned with and personally affected by the material difficulties of the daily survival of Jacobite partisans, which she endeavoured to mediate, she simultaneously expressed and fostered the uneasiness of the men and women of the landed gentry faced with the change from status to class-society in her later novels. To this end, she created a variety of sharply delineated, often contradictory "trading" figures vested with deep symbolic and political significance. Halfway between observation and allegorization, novelistic characterization thus provided Barker with a means to negotiate a difficult and often painful adaptation to the unsparing historical necessity—the dual political and economic revolution—which had upset both her status as a poet of the elite, and the political and religious order to which she still adhered.
Lacroix, Constance J-E
"Wicked Traders, Deserving Peddlers, and Virtuous Smugglers: The Counter-Economy of Jane Barker's Jacobite Novel,"
2, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol23/iss2/4
Constance Lacroix studies at Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut Cambresis.