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 how critics 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 for the 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 the English 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.
`Engrossing' Norma Clarke, Times Literary Supplement `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
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st January 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.5 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.44