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Britannia's Issue
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  • Page extent: 644 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.956 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521034104)

This, Howard D.Weinbrot's magnum opus, draws on a large range of material to chronicle the developing confidence in British national literature from the 1670s to the 1770s. Using varied biblical, classical, English, economic, French, historical, literary, philosophical, political and Scottish sources, Professor Weinbrot shows that one of the central trends of eighteenth-century Britain was the movement away from classical towards native values and models. He demonstrates for example that Dryden's Essay of Dramatick Poesy reflects nationalist aesthetics, that Pope's Rape of the Lock affirms domestic peace while rejecting Homeric violence, and that Windsor Forest sings un-Roman peaceful expansion through trade. This learned and lucidly written book offers revisionist but historically grounded interpretations of these and many other important works. It also helps to characterize the complex and varied culture in eighteenth-century Britain.

• Magnum opus by leading scholar in the field • Definitive account of its subject • Press author of repute


Acknowledgments and editorial notes; Introduction: an overview of scope and method; Part I. Contexts: Intellectual, Psychological and National: Prologue to part I; 1. Moderns, ancients and the secular: the limits of southern hegemony; 2. The spiritual: truth was not the inclination of the first ages; 3. An ambition to excel; 4. The making of a modern canon; Part II. Texts Within Contexts. Essaying England: Our Genius, Our Clime: Prologue to part II; 5. Dryden's 'Essay of Dramatick Poesie': the poetics of nationalism; 6. Homeric wars; 7. The 'Pax Romana' and the 'Pax Britannica': the ethics of war and the ethics of trade; 8. 'Windsor Forest' and 'The Rape of the Lock'; Part III. Growing One's Own: The British Ode From Cowley to Gray: Prologue to part III; 9. Greek jockeys and British heroes: the rise and fall of the Pindaric ode; 10. Odes to the nation and the north: Dryden, Collins and Gray; Part IV. Expanding the Borders. Jews and Jesus: This Israel, This England: Prologue to part IV; 11. The house of David and the house of St. George: philosemitism, Hebrews and Handel; 12. Beyond the Hebrew leaven: smart and the God in Christ; Part V. Celts, Germans and Scots: Towards a United Kingdom: Prologue to part V; 13. Celtic Scotland; 14. Ossian in Scotland, Great Britain and modern Europe: joining Britannia's issue; 15. Conclusion. Synthesizing all the nations under heaven; Appendix: the text of Handel's 'Israel in Egypt'; Index.

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