Catalogue


Before the empire of English : literature, provinciality, and nationalism in eighteenth-century Britain /
Alok Yadav.
imprint
New York; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
description
viii, 231 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
1403964963 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
New York; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
isbn
1403964963 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5247848
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Alok Yadav is Assistant Professor of English at George Mason University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-01-01:
In reviewing the status of English language and literature in the "long 18th century" (1688-1832), Yadav (George Mason Univ.) calls into question several orthodox views of the period. He emphasizes the cultural provinciality of the English literary landscape at the start of the period, showing that writers were aware of the marginality of their reputation in the larger European milieu. Awareness of the transformation of English literary culture across the early modern period into a nationalistic, metropolitan preeminence (rather than the modern assumption of assured and continuous status) is thus important to an understanding of the literary and cultural development of the time. The diverse, pluralistic, interrelated strands of aesthetic value in the early part of the century became polarized into the now familiar "classic to romantic" dichotomy of the late century, leading to a simplistic, linear picture of the development of early modern English literature and culture. This provocative, wide-ranging, and thoroughly illustrated argument should engage anyone interested in the period. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. H. Benoist Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2005
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Offering a new perspective on 18th century British literary culture, this volume examines the themes of language, nationalism, & provinciality. It argues that English-language writers of that time were conscious of the marginality of their literary tradition in the European world of culture.
Main Description
Before the Empire of English offers a broad re-examination of eighteenth-century British literary culture, centered around issues of language, nationalism, and provinciality. It revises our tendency to take for granted the metropolitan centrality of English-language writers of this period and shows, instead, how deeply these writers were conscious of the inherited marginality of their literary tradition in the European world of culture. The book focuses attention on crucial but largely overlooked aspects of eighteenth-century English literary culture: the progress of English topos since the death of Cowley and the cultural aspirations and anxieties it condenses; the concept of the republic of letters and its implications for issues of cultural centrality and provinciality; and the importance of cultural nationalist emphases in "Augustan" poetics in the context of these concerns about provinciality. The book examines imperial aspirations and imaginings in the English literary culture of the period, but it shows how such aspirations are responses to provincial anxieties more so than they are marks of imperial self-assurance. In doing so, the book offers a way of understanding the resonances between the cultural politics of the postcolonial world and those of the earlier history of the English tradition itself.
Main Description
Before the Empire of Englishoffers a broad re-examination of eighteenth-century British literary culture, centered around issues of language, nationalism, and provinciality. It revises our tendency to take for granted the metropolitan centrality of English-language writers of this period and shows, instead, how deeply these writers were conscious of the inherited marginality of their literary tradition in the European world of culture. The book focuses attention on crucial but largely overlooked aspects of eighteenth-century English literary culture: the progress of English topos since the death of Cowley and the cultural aspirations and anxieties it condenses; the concept of the republic of letters and its implications for issues of cultural centrality and provinciality; and the importance of cultural nationalist emphases in "Augustan" poetics in the context of these concerns about provinciality. The book examines imperial aspirations and imaginings in the English literary culture of the period, but it shows how such aspirations are responses to provincial anxieties more so than they are marks of imperial self-assurance. In doing so, the book offers a way of understanding the resonances between the cultural politics of the postcolonial world and those of the earlier history of the English tradition itself.
Main Description
Before the Empire of English offers a broad re-examination of eighteenth-century British literary culture, centered around issues of language, nationalism, and provinciality. It revises our tendency to take for granted the metropolitan centrality of English-language writers of this period and shows, instead, how deeply these writers were conscious of theinherited marginality of their literary tradition in the European world of culture. The book focuses attention on crucial but largely overlooked aspects of eighteenth-century English literary culture: the progress of English topos since the death of Cowley and the cultural aspirations and anxieties it condenses; the concept of the republic of letters and its implications for issues of cultural centrality and provinciality; and the importance of cultural nationalist emphases in "Augustan" poetics in the context of these concerns about provinciality. The book examines imperial aspirations and imaginings in the English literary culture of the period, but it shows how such aspirations are responses to provincial anxieties more so than they are marks of imperial self-assurance. In doing so, the book offers a way of understanding the resonances between the cultural politics of the postcolonial world and those of the earlier history of the English tradition itself.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Introduction: (Dis)establishing the Empire of Englishp. 1
The Progress of Englishp. 21
The Republic of Lettersp. 55
National Differences and National Autonomyp. 111
Notesp. 177
Indexp. 215
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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