Five Questions: Georgina Green on the Majesty of the People

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The Majesty of the People - Georgina Green

Georgina Green is currently a Research Fellow at the University of York; prior to taking up this appointment, she completed her PhD at the University of Oxford and conducted research at Carleton University and the University of Warwick. Her work centres on political and literary interactions in the 1790s and particularly on the relationships between individuals, groups, networks and the populace at large. These concerns inform her first monograph, The Majesty of the People: Popular Sovereignty and the Role of the Writer in the 1790s, which was published in February by Oxford University Press and which we discuss below.

1. How did you first become interested in the idea of the majesty of the people?

I think my interest in popular sovereignty began with little more than an intuitive interest in the parallels between the problems of political representation and ‘literary’ anxieties about the inadequacy of language. I had become interested in Wordsworth’s angst about the poets’ authority during my undergraduate reading of The Prelude. I remember simply knowing ‘I want to look at anxieties about authority’. This seems ridiculously vague and …read more