A History of Eighteenth-Century British Literature is a lively exploration of one of the most diverse and innovative periods in literary history. Capturing the richness and excitement of the era, this book provides extensive coverage of major authors, poets, dramatists, and journalists of the period, such as Dryden, Pope and Swift, while also exploring the works of important writers who have received less attention by modern scholars, such as Matthew Prior and Charles Churchill. Uniquely, the book also discusses noncanonical, working-class writers and demotic works of the era.
During the eighteenth-century, Britain experienced vast social, political, economic, and existential changes, greatly influencing the literary world. The major forms of verse, poetry, fiction and non-fiction, experimental works, drama, and political prose from writers such as Montagu, Finch, Johnson, Goldsmith and Cowper, are discussed here in relation to their historical context. A History of Eighteenth-Century British Literature is essential reading for advanced undergraduates and graduate students of English literature.
Topics covered include:
- Verse in the early 18th century, from Pope, Gay, and Swift to Addison, Defoe, Montagu, and Finch
- Poetry from the mid- to late-century, highlighting the works of Johnson, Gray, Collins, Smart, Goldsmith, and Cowper among others, as well as women and working-class poets
- Prose Fiction in the early and 18th century, including Behn, Haywood, Defoe, Swift, Richardson, Fielding, and Smollett
- The novel past mid-century, including experimental works by Johnson, Sterne, Mackenzie, Walpole, Goldsmith, and Burney
- Non-fiction prose, including political and polemical prose
- 18th century drama
Keywords: Literary Criticism & History, Literary Criticism & History, english literature; 18th century english literature; history of english literature; history of 18th century english literature; 18th century english verse; early 18th century english verse; mid-18th century english poetry; alexander pope; jonathan swift; jonathan swift fiction; jonathan swift political works; jonathan swift polemical writing; gulliver's travels; tale of a tub; john dryden; henry fielding; tobia smollet; samuel richardson; samuel johnson fiction; samuel johnson prose; samuel johnson dictionary; samuel johson polemical writing; daniel defoe; laurence sterne; tristram shandy; 18th century english women poets; 18th century english writers; 18th century english novelists; 18th century english working class writers; joseph addison; richard steele