The poetry of the mid - and late eighteenth century has long been regarded as primarily private and apolitical; in this wide-ranging study Dustin Griffin argues that in fact the poets of the period were addressing the great issues of national life - rebellion at home, imperial wars abroad, an expanding commercial empire, an emerging new 'British' national identity. Taking up the topic of patriotic verse, Griffin shows that the poets, like many contemporary essayists, sermon writers, and political journalists, were engaged in the century-long debate about the nature of 'true patriotism'. Griffin argues that canonical figures - James Thomson, William Collins, Thomas Gray, Christopher Smart, Oliver Goldsmith, William Cowper - along with less canonical writers such as Mark Akenside, John Dyer, and Ann Yearsley ask how poets might serve and even save their country, and take their place in a broader tradition of patriotic verse.
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(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Dustin H. Griffin
Dustin Griffin is Professor of English at New York University. He is the author of a number of books on Restoration and eighteenth-century English literature, including Satires on Man: The Poems of Rochester (1973), Alexander Pope: The Poet in the Poems (1978), Regaining Paradise: Milton and the Eighteenth Century (1986), Satire: A Critical Re-Introduction (1994), and Literary Patronage in England, 1650-1800 (Cambridge 1996).