Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Invention of the OralPrint Commerce and Fugitive Voices in Eighteenth-Century Britain$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paula McDowell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226456966

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226457017.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

How to Speak Well in Public: The Elocution Movement Begins in Earnest

How to Speak Well in Public: The Elocution Movement Begins in Earnest

(p.162) Chapter Five How to Speak Well in Public: The Elocution Movement Begins in Earnest
The Invention of the Oral

Paula McDowell

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines English contributors to the elocution movement after John Henley, as well as their French precursor Michel le Faucheur. After the Toleration Act granted freedom of worship to Protestant Dissenters, Anglicans argued that their clergy needed to pay greater attention to the oral delivery of their sermons, or they would lose audiences to charismatic Dissenting preachers. Anglicans debated the use of action (gesture) in the pulpit, and they critiqued Methodist preachers for their use of gesture and media-savvy use of print. The chapter considers the later eighteenth-century transformation of the elocution movement. While Thomas Sheridan is now often assumed to be the founder of the movement, this chapter shows how Sheridan took over where Henley left off. After Henley died, Sheridan delivered lectures on elocution, then published them as A Course of Lectures on Elocution. Sheridan expanded Henley's market for public speaking by tying it to the cause of nationalism, and unlike Henley, he praised speech at the expense of writing and print. Indebted to the elocutionists' legacy, clergyman and rhetorician Hugh Blair introduced the new elocution-focused rhetoric to Scottish universities, yet he warned against the new public debating societies, which he viewed as fomenting social disorder.

Keywords:   action in rhetoric, Hugh Blair, debating societies, Dissenters, elocution, English language, gesture, preachers, public speaking, Thomas Sheridan

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.