The Cambridge companion to English literature, 1650-1740 /

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Zwicker, Steven N.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

Zwicker (Washington Univ., St. Louis) imposed no stultifying uniformity on the 14 contributors to this new Cambridge Companion. Though the pieces differ greatly in breadth of coverage, approach, and length, this introduction to the period as a whole succeeds nicely. Not all the contributors manage to avoid dreary textbook exposition on the one hand, or jazzy journal jargon on the other. But most do: the typical piece reads like a very effective lecture by a scholar deeply taken with the subject. Paul Hammond's essay on classical translations is a little gem. Some chapters cover an individual author's entire career--Dryden, the Earl of Rochester, Aphra Behn (probingly discussed by Margaret Ferguson)--others pair authors-- Milton and Marvell as proto-Whigs; Swift and Defoe; Mary Astell and John Locke; Pope and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Zwicker includes a chapter each on several topics: the general social and political movement in the period; satire, politics, and theater; theater and music; gender; and lyric. Graduate students working up a topic--and professors working up a lecture--will find this volume most useful, but it is recommended for all academic collections serving upper-division undergraduates and above. Full notes; helpful bibliographies. E. D. Hill; Mount Holyoke College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.