Virgil Made English: The Decline of Classical Authority

Hardcover | January 8, 2009

byT. Caldwell

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Virgil Made English traces Virgil’s fate from the Interregnum through mid-eighteenth-century England and beyond by examining translations, imitations, adaptations, and discussions of the poet and some of his fellow Ancients. Along the way, it examines English and French neoclassical theorists, demonstrating the unacknowledged gap between theory and practice in this period. The central argument here concerns the decline in influence and authority of Virgil and the Ancients in this “neoclassical” period.  The study also shows how literary features and notions about literature’s historical and social function that are associated with the eighteenth century can be traced back through mid-seventeenth century rejection of classical precepts and examples. 

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Virgil Made English traces Virgil’s fate from the Interregnum through mid-eighteenth-century England and beyond by examining translations, imitations, adaptations, and discussions of the poet and some of his fellow Ancients. Along the way, it examines English and French neoclassical theorists, demonstrating the unacknowledged gap betwe...

Tanya Caldwell is Associate Professor of English at Georgia State University. She is the author of Time to Begin Anew: Dryden’s Georgics and Aeneis, as well as various articles on Restoration and eighteenth-century studies.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.02 inPublished:January 8, 2009Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230606768

ISBN - 13:9780230606760

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"Caldwell's Virgil Made English is a first-rate study that makes a major contribution to our understanding of the decline of the classics in eighteenth-century literature. Well-researched and well-argued, it is as provocative as it is rigorous."--Robert Markley, Romano Professorial Scholar, Department of English, Unit for Criticism and Theory, University of Illinois“This is a superb account of Virgil’s declining authority from post-Reformation England to colonial America. Sifting through a commanding knowledge of the many editions, translations, miscellanies, parodies of, and ‘keys’ to Virgil, Caldwell masterfully demonstrates how ‘modern’ literary activity emerged from the tension between the inherited habit of drawing on Virgil and the increasing need to supplant his outmoded heroic tradition with a new concern for the novel and the domestic. Caldwell’s sharply defined dialectic between the receding claims of Virgilian authority and the increasingly clamorous imperatives of contemporary history make Virgil Made English a key sourcebook for all studies of Restoration and eighteenth-century literary culture.”--Anna Battigelli, Professor of English, SUNY Plattsburgh