The Making of the English Literary Canon

Ross, Trevor

Published by McGill-Queen's University Press
ISBN 10: 0773520805 / ISBN 13: 9780773520806
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Covering a period that extends from the Middle Ages to the institutionalisation of literature in the eighteenth century, this work traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward literature in English society, highlighting the diverse interests and assumptions that defined and shaped the literary canon. Num Pages: 408 pages, black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: DSA; DSBB; DSBD. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 229 x 154 x 29. Weight in Grams: 567. . 2000. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: An indigenous canon of letters, Ross argues, had been both the hope and aim of English authors since the Middle Ages. Early authors believed that promoting the idea of a national literature would help publicize their work and favour literary production in the vernacular. Ross places these early gestures toward canon-making in the context of the highly rhetorical habits of thought that dominated medieval and Renaissance culture, habits that were gradually displaced by an emergent rationalist understanding of literary value. He shows that, beginning in the late seventeenth century, canon-makers became less concerned with how English literature was produced than with how it was read and received. By showing that canon-formation has served different functions in the past, The Making of the English Literary Canon is relevant not only to current debates over the canon but also as an important corrective to prevailing views of early modern English literature and of how it was first evaluated, promoted, and preserved.

About the Author: Dalhousie University, Canada

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Title: The Making of the English Literary Canon
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Book Condition: New

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