Debating Lord Clive

Christopher Reid

in Imprison'd Wranglers

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199581092
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745621 | DOI:
Debating Lord Clive

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The closing chapters of the book extend the examination of the eighteenth-century House as a place of rhetorical contest. Chapter 8 argues that the analysis of an entire debate reveals the distinctive qualities of parliamentary speaking more clearly than the study of individual speeches and speakers. With this in mind, it offers a case study of the debate of censure against Lord Clive on 21 May 1773, and assesses the impact of oratory on the feelings and decisions of the House. Against the background of his controversial career in India, the chapter gives an account of Clive's parliamentary activities and examines his use of oratory in defence of his fortune and reputation. With reference to the rhetorical topic of honour, it looks closely at the contest for control of the terms of debate and shows how speakers such as Lord George Germain found strong personal grounds for identification in Clive's career.

Keywords: rhetorical contest; debate; vindication; honour; Lord Clive; Lord George Germain

Chapter.  13220 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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