Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics by Stefan ColliniCommon Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics by Stefan Collini

Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics

byStefan Collini

Paperback | October 10, 2009

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In this series of penetrating and attractively readable essays, Stefan Collini explores aspects of the literary and intellectual culture of Britain from the early twentieth century to the present. Collini focuses on critics and historians who wrote for a non-specialist readership, and on theperiodicals and other genres through which they attempted to reach that readership. Among the critics discussed are Cyril Connolly, V.S. Pritchett, Aldous Huxley, Rebecca West, Edmund Wilson, and George Orwell, while the historians include A.L. Rowse, Arthur Bryant, E.H. Carr, and E.P. Thompson. There are also essays on wider themes such as the fate of 'general' periodicals, thehistory of reading, the role of criticism, changing conceptions of 'culture', the limitations of biography, and the functions of universities. Explicitly addressed to 'the non-specialist reader', these essays make some of the fruits of detailed scholarly research in various fields available to awider audience in a succinct and elegant manner. Stefan Collini has been acclaimed as one of the most brilliant essayists of our time, and this collection shows him at his subtle, perceptive, and trenchant best. The book will appeal to (and delight) readers interested in literature, history, and contemporary cultural debate.

About The Author

Stefan Collini is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Clare Hall. A frequent contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, The London Review of Books, and other periodicals both in Britain and the USA, his previous books include Public Moralists (1991), Matthew Arnold...
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Details & Specs

Title:Common Reading: Critics, Historians, PublicsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pagesPublished:October 10, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199569797

ISBN - 13:9780199569793

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Table of Contents

Part One: Writing Lives1. On not getting on with it: the criticism of Cyril Connolly2. Rolling it out: V. S. Pritchett's writing life3. The Great Seer: Aldous Huxley's visions4. Performance: the critical authority of Rebecca West5. Man of letters as hero: the energy of Edmund Wilson6. Plain speaking: the lives of George Orwell7. Believing in oneself: the career of Stephen Spender8. Smacking: the letters of William Empson9. Disappointment: A. L. Rowse in his diaries10. Believing in England: Arthur Bryant, historian as man of letters11. Believing in history: Herbert Butterfield, Christian and Whig12. The intellectual as realist: the puzzling career of E. H. Carr13. Enduring passion: E. H. Thompson's reputation14. Olympian universalism: Perry Anderson as essayist15. Hegel in green wellies: Roger Scruton's EnglandPart Two: Reading Matters16. 'The Great Age': the idealizing of Victorian culture17. Always dying: the idea of the general periodical18. Boomster and the Quack: the author as celebrity19. Private reading: the autodidact public20. The completest mode: the literary critic as hero21. From deference to diversity: 'culture' in Britain 1945-200022. Well connected: biography and intellectual elites23. National lives: The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography24. HiEdBiz: universities and their publicsReferencesAcknowledgementsIndex

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"fascinating and superbly-written" --Will Podmore