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Home > Catalog > The Cambridge Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Poetry
The Cambridge Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Poetry


  • Page extent: 248 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.42 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521612784)

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$31.99 (P)

For readers daunted by the formal structures and rhetorical sophistication of eighteenth-century English poetry, this introduction by John Sitter brings the techniques and the major poets of the period 1700–1785 triumphantly to life. Sitter begins by offering a guide to poetic forms ranging from heroic couplets to blank verse, then demonstrates how skilfully male and female poets of the period used them as vehicles for imaginative experience, feelings and ideas. He then provides detailed analyses of individual works by poets from Finch, Swift and Pope, to Gray, Cowper and Barbauld. An approachable introduction to English poetry and major poets of the eighteenth century, this book provides a grounding in poetic analysis useful to students and general readers of literature.


Introduction; Part I. Voice: 1. Voice in eighteenth-century poetry; 2. The Heroic couplet continuum; 3. Vocal engagement: reading Pope's An Essay on Criticism; 4. Talking in tetrameter; 5. Blank verse and stanzaic poetry; Part II. Poetic Consciousness: 6. Satiric poetry; 7. Pope as metapoet; 8. Metapoetry beyond Pope; Part III. Vision: 9. Reading visions; 10. Personification; 11. Prophecy and prospects of society; 12. Ecological prospects and natural knowledge; A concluding note: then and now; Suggested reading; Index.

Prize Winner

Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2012


"Reading this wonderful book is akin to sitting in on a master-class seminar taught by a sensitive, affable teacher who is also a rigorous and respected scholar. Sitter (Notre Dame) covers his subject with enthusiasm, erudition, and an adroit sense of audience. His lessons--arranged in a series of brief, full chapters--are accessible but not condescending. Brimming with insights, they will assist the novice student while offering a variety of valuable tips to even the seasoned teacher. . . Not to be missed by anyone interested in 18th-century poetry. Highly recommended."

"It is the work of a distinguished scholar, covering a wide range of authors in a manner partly designed for nonspecialist readers, with occasional lurches into trade jargon which will momentarily leave some specialists scratching their heads."

Studies in English Literature

"… aimed at both students and teachers of the field. Through a series of thematic chapters Sitter explores many of the key aspects of eighteenth-century poetry in terms of form, style, voice, and content."
The Eighteenth Century

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