Disaffected Parties reveals how alienation from politics effected crucial changes to the shape and status of literary form. Recovering the earliest expressions of grumbling, irritability, and cynicism towards politics, this study asks how unsettled partisan legacies converged with more recent discontents to forge a seminal period in the making of English literature, and thereby poses wide-ranging questions about the lines between politics and aesthetics. Reading works including Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, James Boswell's Life of Johnson, the novels of Maria Edgeworth and Jane Austen, and the satirical poetry of Lord Byron in tandem with print culture and partisan activity, this book shows how these writings remained animated by disaffected impulses and recalcitrant energies at odds with available party positions and emerging governmental norms-even as they sought to imagine perspectives that looked beyond the divided political world altogether. 'No one can be more sick of-or indifferent to politics than I am' Lord Byron wrote in 1820. Between the later eighteenth century and the Romantic age, disaffected political attitudes acquired increasingly familiar shapes. Yet this was also a period of ferment in which unrest associated with the global age of revolutions (including a dynamic transatlantic opposition movement) collided with often inchoate assemblages of parties and constituencies. As writers adopted increasingly emphatic removes from the political arena and cultivated familiar stances of cynicism, detachment, and retreat, their estrangement also promised to loop back into political engagement-and to make their works 'parties' all their own.