Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © 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: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Pastoral poetry is one of the most prolific and least studied eighteenth-century poetic genres. For two centuries it was disregarded under the misapprehension created by prescriptive criticism that it is rule-governed and derivative, unnatural and effete. Nothing could be farther from the truth: the strong patterning typical of eighteenth-century pastoral verse was the means by which poets engaged rhetorically in a vigorous, century-long debate over the nature of poetry, history, and education, which had profound implications for the understanding of literature generally. The debate unfolded not through a small number of canonical works but through diverse series of minor poems which collectively altered the hierarchy of genres and laid the groundwork for modern discourses about genius, race, and nationality.

Keywords: poetry, pastoral, genre, nature, education

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.