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Grant number: FT-259686-18

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Jason H. Pearl
Florida International University (Miami, FL 33199-2516)

Balloon Flight and British Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries

Research and writing for a book on the emerging technology of ballooning in 18th-century England and its impact on literature and the techniques of omniscient narration.

This book project shows how the advent of flight enabled nothing less than new ways of seeing the world. The first hot air balloons, beginning in 1783, gave the bird’s-eye view to human eyes, and writers in various genres, factual and fictional, adopted the perspective of an observer in a balloon basket. These writers described natural and human-built environments from extraordinary angles and distances, portraying the geographies of Britain and beyond at unprecedented scales. They thus put into practice, more literally than ever before, scientific methods such as detached observation and far-reaching empirical induction, as well as the literary technique of omniscient narration.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 8/31/2018