This thorough introduction to English literature of the eighteenth century maps the emergence of the novel onto rich and exciting changes in poetry, drama and popular print. It shows how literary genres and modes were shaped by radical changes in economics and the empire, political and religious culture, the rise of literary criticism and the development of the book trade. It offers essential readings of the work of canonical authors alongside a bigger picture that emphasises the investigation of writers whose work is only now gaining critical attention. The book opens with an introduction to the principal texts followed by an explanation of key terms, in their political, economic and social contexts. Each of the main chapters on poetry, prose fiction, theatre and 'culture of print' tells a story of literary evolution, interrogating extracts from key canonical texts whilst allowing space for a discussion of lesser-known contextual texts and intellectual currents. The book ends with a conclusion that highlights current critical debates in the field, and deals with the tricky bridge between writing of the eighteenth century and Romanticism.
Key Features *A comprehensive and accessible undergraduate introduction to Eighteenth-Century Literature from 1660 to the mid-1790s *Discusses John Milton's Paradise Lost, Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Samuel Richardson's Pamela, Lawrence Sterne's Tristram Shandy as well as examples of Restoration drama, satire, song, popular and print culture. *Essential resources and further reading highlighted *Promotes informed engagement with the canon and current critical debates and establishes pathways towards further reading and lesser-known authors
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(216mm x 138mm x mm)
Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Author Biography - Hamish Mathison
Hamish Mathison is Lecturer in English at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of published articles, a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, editor, with Angela Wright, of Instruments of Enlightenment, a special issue of History of European Ideas (Elsevier, 2004), and literature reviews editor for the British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies.