Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Eighteenth-century topographical poetry reveals spectacularly the connection between any act of representation and the arrangement of nature according to a point of view, one always enmeshed in relationships of power and governance. All English topographical verse in fact descends in one way or another from Sir John Denham’s Coopers Hill (first published 1642, substantially revised 1655, published 1668). This prototype of what Samuel Johnson called “local poetry” derives its profound capacity to influence later generations from its relations of production, and the signs it bears of those relations, namely, civil violence and global commerce. During the eighteenth century, two alternatives to Coopers Hill arose: iter poetry recounting journeys, and poetry of private rather than public patriotic views. Heartened by these alternatives, and seeking to dispense with the topographical tradition altogether, William Wordsworth found himself nevertheless rewriting Coopers Hill when he composed Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey in 1798.

Keywords: poetry, topographical verse, local poetry, travel, John Denham

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.