The Grammar of Empire in Eighteenth-Century British Writing

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9780521653275: The Grammar of Empire in Eighteenth-Century British Writing
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This study, first published in 2000, examines the complex role of language as an instrument of empire in eighteenth-century British literature. Focusing in particular on the relationship between England and one of its 'celtic colonies', Scotland, Janet Sorensen explores the tensions which arose during a period when the formation of a national standard English coincided with the need to negotiate ever widening imperial linguistic contacts. Close readings of poems, novels, dictionaries, grammars and records of colonial English instruction reveal the deeply conflicting relationship between British national and imperial ideologies. Moving from Scots Gaelic poet Alexander MacDonald to writers such as Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, and Tobias Smollett, Sorensen analyses British linguistic practices of imperial domination, including the enforcement of English language usage. The book also engages with the work of Samuel Johnson and Jane Austen to offer a wider understanding of the ambivalent nature of English linguistic identity.

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Review:

"...a well-researched and intellectually adroit study...Sorensen's book presents a crucial realignment of the relation of Scottish Studies to the study of English Literature in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries." SiR

"...the entire study offers original insight into the processes by which language and identity interact...Sorensen combines entertaining examples with rigorous scholarship to demonstrate how Gaelic became the language of English nationalism...these accomplishments distinguish Sorensen's study as one of the broadest in scope and best informed of recent investigations into the function of Austen's work in the empire, and of the function of the empire in Austen." JASNA News

"The Grammar of Empire is a substantial addition to current discussion of the generative role of Scottish writing in the production of British national identity. It is an ambitious book..." Eighteenth-Century Scotland

"The Grammar of Empire is well positioned to generate discussion in the years to come." Albion

Book Description:

This study, first published in 2000, examines the complex role of language as an instrument of empire in eighteenth-century British literature. Focusing on the relationship between England and one of its 'celtic colonies', Scotland, Janet Sorensen examines how the expansion of the British empire influenced the formation of a national standard English.

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9780521021555: Grammar of Empire 18C British Write

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ISBN 10: 0521021553 ISBN 13: 9780521021555
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2008
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