Catalogue


Poetry of opposition and revolution [electronic resource] : Dryden to Wordsworth /
Howard Erskine-Hill.
imprint
Oxford [England] : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
description
xii, 272 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0198121776 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Oxford [England] : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
isbn
0198121776 (acid-free paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8568267
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [256]-264) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-10:
Erskine-Hill (Univ. of Cambridge, UK) is one of a number of scholars who have urged readers to discover political engagement in works of literature that at first appear to inhabit purely imaginary worlds or to offer only timeless wisdom. In the present volume, a sequel to his Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden (CH, Jan'97), the author returns to subjects for which he is already well known. In the first half, he discovers Jacobite sympathies in Dryden, Pope, and Johnson; in the second, he explores revolutionary sentiments in Wordsworth. As always, Erskine-Hill is at his best in casting new light on long-familiar texts. However, sometimes in sketching in the political background relevant to his needs, he draws with such faint strokes that one is left wondering whether the political meanings he uncovers are in fact there or merely the outcome of his method. This reviewer also wishes the author had more to say about other critics, both those who share his premises (e.g., Steven Zwicker and Nicholas Roe) and those who sharply oppose them (John Cannon and J.A. Downie). Their absence makes this otherwise well-mannered book seem ungenerous and fiercely partisan. Upper-division undergraduates and up. M. W. Gelber; St. John's University (NY)
Reviews
Review Quotes
'an important and overdue project ... These books will serve to introduce undergraduates to some of the complexities of reading literature politically; and offer literary historians a strong reading of early-modern political allusion.'Times Higher Education Supplement
'He more that succeeds, for he not only provides illuminating criticism of Wordsworth, Johnson, Pope and Dryden, tracing their engagement with political issues at the levels of allusion, imagery and form, but also revises our understanding of their relationship to each other and to classicalpoetry. ... Not the least of its virtues is the sense it gives the reader that a genuine exploration of poetry is taking place, the result of which has not been determined in advance by a pre-existing critical position.'British Association for Romantic Studies Bulletin and Review, issue no.12, June 1997
'It is one of the undoubted merits of Howard Erskine-Hill that many of his literary works are accessible to the historian, and his elucidation of difficult poetry can help the historian by opening up a better understanding the past and of how past events and issues were understood by some ofthe most gifted contemporary poets. This handsomely produced and gracefully written book is aimed at literary scholars, but historians will also learn much from it.'H.T. Dickinson, University of Edinburgh, The Historical Association 1997
'One of the many virtues of Howard Erskine-Hill's Poetry and Revolution (the sequel to his Poetry and the Realm of Politics) is the care with which it reconstructs these climates of interpretation'Times Literary Supplement
"This is a grand and elegantly written book that exudes the authority of profound erudition."--Modern Philology
"This is a grand and elegantly written book that exudes the authority of profound erudition."-- Modern Philology
'This is an important and overdue project ... a developed and sustained argument about the nature of political reference in literature that is attuned to recent developments in historiography ... These books will serve to introduce undergraduates to some of the complexities of readingliterature politically; and offer literary historians a strong reading of early-modern political allusion.'The Times Higher Education Supplement
'One of the many virtues of Howard Erskine-Hill's Poetry and Revolution (the sequel to his Poetry and the Realm of Politics) is the care with which it reconstructs these climates of interpretation'Times Literary Supplement'This is an important and overdue project ... a developed and sustained argument about the nature of political reference in literature that is attuned to recent developments in historiography ... These books will serve to introduce undergraduates to some of the complexities of reading literature politically; and offer literary historians a strong reading of early-modern political allusion.'The Times Higher Education Supplement'He more that succeeds, for he not only provides illuminating criticism of Wordsworth, Johnson, Pope and Dryden, tracing their engagement with political issues at the levels of allusion, imagery and form, but also revises our understanding of their relationship to each other and to classical poetry. ... Not the least of its virtues is the sense it gives the reader that a genuine exploration of poetry is taking place, the result of which has not beendetermined in advance by a pre-existing critical position.'British Association for Romantic Studies Bulletin and Review, issue no.12, June 1997'an important and overdue project ... These books will serve to introduce undergraduates to some of the complexities of reading literature politically; and offer literary historians a strong reading of early-modern political allusion.'Times Higher Education Supplement'It is one of the undoubted merits of Howard Erskine-Hill that many of his literary works are accessible to the historian, and his elucidation of difficult poetry can help the historian by opening up a better understanding the past and of how past events and issues were understood by some of the most gifted contemporary poets. This handsomely produced and gracefully written book is aimed at literary scholars, but historians will also learn much fromit.'H.T. Dickinson, University of Edinburgh, The Historical Association 1997
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1997
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Summaries
Long Description
Poetry of Opposition and Revolution is an important new study of the relation between poetry and politics in English literature from Dryden to Wordsworth. Building on his argument in Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden (also available from OUP), Howard Erskine-Hill reveals that the major tradition of political allusion is not, as has often been argued, that of the political allegory and overtly political poems, but rather a more shifting and less systematic practice, often involving equivocal or multiple reference. Drawing on the revisionist trend in recent historiography, the book offers new and thought-provoking readings of familiar texts. Dryden's Aeneid version and Pope's Rape of The Lock are shown to belong not just to contemporary convention, but to a more widespread and older style of envisioning high politics and the crises of government. The early books of The Prelude can be seen to show marked political features; reflections of the 1688 Revolution are traced in The Rape of the Lock; and a Jacobite emotion is identified in The Vanity of Human Wishes. Taking issue with recent New Historicist Romantic criticism, the concluding chapters argue that what have seemed to many to be traces of covert political displacement or erasure in Wordsworth are in fact marks of a continuing political preoccupation, which found new forms after the collapse of the Enlightenment programme into the Jacobin terror.
Long Description
This is a major study of the relation between poetry and politics from the 1688 Revolution to the early years of the nineteenth century, focusing in particular on the works of Dryden, Pope, Johnson, and Wordsworth. Building on his argument in Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden (also available from OUP), Erskine-Hill argues that the major tradition of political allusion is not, as has often been argued, that of political allegory and overtly political poems, but rather a more shifting and less systematic practice, often involving equivocal or multiple reference.
Main Description
Poetry of Opposition and Revolution is an important new study of the relation between poetry and politics in English literature from Dryden to Wordsworth. Building on his argument in Poetry and the Realm of Politics: Shakespeare to Dryden (also available from OUP), Howard Erskine-Hill revealsthat the major tradition of political allusion is not, as has often been argued, that of the political allegory and overtly political poems, but rather a more shifting and less systematic practice, often involving equivocal or multiple reference. Drawing on the revisionist trend in recenthistoriography, the book offers new and thought-provoking readings of familiar texts. Dryden's Aeneid version and Pope's Rape of The Lock are shown to belong not just to contemporary convention, but to a more widespread and older style of envisioning high politics and the crises of government. Theearly books of The Prelude can be seen to show marked political features; reflections of the 1688 Revolution are traced in The Rape of the Lock; and a Jacobite emotion is identified in The Vanity of Human Wishes. Taking issue with recent New Historicist Romantic criticism, the concluding chaptersargue that what have seemed to many to be traces of covert political displacement or erasure in Wordsworth are in fact marks of a continuing political preoccupation, which found new forms after the collapse of the Enlightenment programme into the Jacobin terror.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Abbreviations and Short Titles
Introductionp. 1
Dryden and the 1690s
Dryden's Later Plays and Poemsp. 17
Pope and the Question of Jacobite Vision
Early Poems to The Rape of the Lockp. 57
The Rape of the Lock to The Dunciadp. 77
Johnson: Poems on Affairs of State
The Decision of Samuel Johnsonp. 111
The Vanity of Human Wishes in Contextp. 139
The Politics of the Prelude
Wordsworth and the Conception of The Preludep. 169
Experiencing Revolutionp. 200
Epiloguep. 250
Select Bibliographyp. 256
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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