Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765) is one of the founding texts of English literature, and epoch-making collection of historical and lyrical ballads that defined the canon of popular poetry. It dramatically influenced Romanticism and the writing of Wordsworth and Coleridge, Walter Scott, and even Lewis Carroll. This is the first monograph devoted to Percy's seminal work. In The Making of Percys Reliques, Nick Groom vividly reconstructs pioneering antiquarianism and its processes of collecting, transcribing, and collating. With meticulous scholarship, he unravels Percy's working methods, examining his correspondence, library, and papers - as well as his friendships with scholars like Samuel Johnson. This microbibliographical analysis takes literary history and critical theory in significant new directions. As Groom shows, the creation about historical sources and the origins of Englishness, and the practices of eighteenth-century editing were intertwined with themes as diverse as gardening, nightingales, forgery, and cannibalism.
`Written in an elegant and readable style, Groom's book is filled with much substantial, never gratuously erudite, scholarship. More importantly it provides a unique occasion to rediscover a text that prefigures the contradictions, innovations and concerns of a whole cultural phase as one of the founding, epoch-making texts of British as well as European Romantic culture.' Diego Saglia, British Asoc. for Romatic Studies, Issue 17, March 2000. `Groom's study captures Percy's adaptation of new ideas of authenticity circulating in the mid-to-late eighteenth century ... Theory never encumbers Groom's discussions but usefully blends in with them.' Diego Saglia, British Asoc. for Romatic Studies, Issue 17, March 2000. `The first book-length study of Thomas Percy's Reliques to appear for a long time ... Particularly interesting is the reconstruction of the different professional contacts established by Persy during the 'making' of his collection with intellectuals as diverse as William Shakespeare and Samuel Johnson.' Diego Saglia, British Asoc. for Romatic Studies, Issue 17, March 2000. `Nick Groom's microbibliographical analysis of The Making of Percy's Relique's is extraordinarily detailed, yet lucid and entertaining.' Katherine Turner, TLS 26/11/99
Series: Oxford English Monographs
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st December 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97 x 2.06
Weight (kg): 0.46