Poetry of Opposition and Revolution: Dryden to Wordsworth

Hardcover | July 1, 1996

byHoward Erskine-Hill

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Poetry of Opposition and Revolution is an important new study of the relation between poetry and politics in English literature from Dryden to Wordsworth. Building on his argument in Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden (also available from OUP), Howard Erskine-Hill revealsthat the major tradition of political allusion is not, as has often been argued, that of the political allegory and overtly political poems, but rather a more shifting and less systematic practice, often involving equivocal or multiple reference. Drawing on the revisionist trend in recenthistoriography, the book offers new and thought-provoking readings of familiar texts. Dryden's Aeneid version and Pope's Rape of The Lock are shown to belong not just to contemporary convention, but to a more widespread and older style of envisioning high politics and the crises of government. Theearly books of The Prelude can be seen to show marked political features; reflections of the 1688 Revolution are traced in The Rape of the Lock; and a Jacobite emotion is identified in The Vanity of Human Wishes. Taking issue with recent New Historicist Romantic criticism, the concluding chaptersargue that what have seemed to many to be traces of covert political displacement or erasure in Wordsworth are in fact marks of a continuing political preoccupation, which found new forms after the collapse of the Enlightenment programme into the Jacobin terror.

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Poetry of Opposition and Revolution is an important new study of the relation between poetry and politics in English literature from Dryden to Wordsworth. Building on his argument in Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden (also available from OUP), Howard Erskine-Hill revealsthat the major tradition of political allusi...

Howard Erskine-Hill is at University of Cambridge.

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Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden
Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden

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$307.95 online$427.50list price(save 27%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:284 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.79 inPublished:July 1, 1996Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198121776

ISBN - 13:9780198121770

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`It is one of the undoubted merits of Howard Erskine-Hill that many of his literary works are accessible to the historian, and his elucidation of difficult poetry can help the historian by opening up a better understanding the past and of how past events and issues were understood by some ofthe most gifted contemporary poets. This handsomely produced and gracefully written book is aimed at literary scholars, but historians will also learn much from it.'H.T. Dickinson, University of Edinburgh, The Historical Association 1997