Poetry and the Making of the English Literary Past: 1660-1781

Hardcover | December 1, 2001

byRichard Terry

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Concentrating on the period 1660-1781, this book explores how the English literary past was made. It charts how antiquarians unearthed the raw materials of the English (or more widely) British tradition; how scholars drafted narratives about the development of native literature; and howcritics assigned the leading writers to canons of literary greatness. Poetry and the Making of the English Literary Past also analyzes the various kinds of occasion on which the contents of the literary past are rehearsed. Discussed, for example, is the rise of Poets' Corner as a national shrine forthe consecration of literary worthies; and the author also considers a wide range of poetic genres that lent themselves to recitals of the literary past: the funeral elegy, the progress-of-poesy poem and the session of the poets poem. The book concludes that the opening up and ordering of theEnglish literary past occurs earlier than is generally supposed; and the same also applies to the process by which women writers achieve their own distinctive form of canonical recognition.

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Concentrating on the period 1660-1781, this book explores how the English literary past was made. It charts how antiquarians unearthed the raw materials of the English (or more widely) British tradition; how scholars drafted narratives about the development of native literature; and howcritics assigned the leading writers to canons of ...

Richard Terry is Reader in Eighteenth-Century English Literature, University of Sunderland

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.94 inPublished:December 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198186231

ISBN - 13:9780198186236

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Table of Contents

List of AbbreviationsList of Illustrations1. 'Literature': The Morphology of a Concept2. The Progress of Poesy: Making an English Canon3. Authorial Dictionaries and the Cult of Fame4. Myths of Origin: The Canon of Pre-Chaucerian Poetry5. Dryden and the Idea of a Literary Tradition6. Teaching English Literature7. Johnson's Lives of the Poets8. Making the Female Canon9. Classicists and Gothicists: The Division of the EstateAppendicesNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Richard Terry's canvas is broad, and in lesser hands his argument might have been over-whelmed by detail. He moves easily across the historical range, writing with passionate clarity and not a little wit. He gives an enjoyable account of the forming of the canon of pre-Chaucerian poetry'Norma Clarke, Times Literary Supplement