FHSU professor spoke on the Jacobite Rebellion, novel 'Tom Jones' during conference

Dr. Eric Leuschner, associate professor of English at Fort Hays State University, recently presented "Panic on the Streets of London: the '45, London, and 'Tom Jones'" at a conference in Kansas City of the Midwestern American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Leuschner examined contemporary accounts of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion in London newspapers, pamphlets, songs and sermons of that decade in order to explore their effect on Henry Fielding's 1749 novel "Tom Jones."

"Many critics have noted references in the middle of the novel and have remarked on the surprising absence in the last half, which occurs in London at the height of the Rebellion," said Leuschner. "My purpose was to re-evaluate Fielding's silence on the matter. Fielding is usually seen as a staunch Loyalist critic of the Jacobite cause, but a close reading of the novel reveals a more ambiguous position."

The paper is part of a larger project on the relation of the rebellion and the novel. Another article by Leuschner, "Sophia's Smile: Reading Jenny Cameron in the Margins of 'Tom Jones,'" is included in a forthcoming book collection of essays on teaching the novels of Henry Fielding. It is published as part of the Modern Language Association's Approaches to Teaching series.

Leuschner is currently using the novel to teach an online course for the Master of Liberal Studies and will include the novel in a course he teaches in the spring.

"Attending conferences like this allows me to share ideas and receive feedback that often have a direct impact on my teaching," said Leuschner.

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