The Cambridge companion to eighteenth-century poetry /

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Sitter, John E.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

The 13 essays in this volume provide useful and accessible background material for students of 18th-century poetry. Author of The Poetry of Pope's Dunciad (1971), Literary Loneliness in Mid-Eighteenth-Century England (CH, Feb'83), and Arguments of Augustan Wit (CH, Oct'92), Sitter opts for essays treating broad, inclusive topics and avoids altogether discussions of single figures; he himself contributes the introduction and an essay on changing critical premises in the century. In a suggestive chapter on the emergence of anthologies and magazines as the new venues of publication, Barbara Benedict argues that the 18th century transformed literature into "mass entertainment" and made writing a "middle-class profession." Her interest in the reader's role in the production of poetry pervades the collection--notably, Claudia Kairoff's "Women Poets and Readers," Paul Hunter's "Couplets and Conversation," and, most interestingly, David Fairer's discussion of the poets' reading of Spenser and Milton as the means of understanding themselves in a developing "national literary history." Other chapters consider politics, the celebration and critique of the city, the distinctly "English" sense of "nature," the greater and lesser ode, and the poetry of absence, sensibility, and "pre-Romanticism." Recommended for all academic collections, undergraduate and graduate. G. R. Wasserman emeritus, Russell Sage College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.