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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the history of poetic scholarship in the period from 1660–1800, by looking at some of its most notable examples of editions, particularly of Milton, and Shakespeare. Attention is paid to the unorthodox styles of scholarship displayed in Richard Bentley’s Paradise Lost, and Alexander Pope’s editions of Shakespeare and Homer; the reasons why these editions differ from the evolving practice of poetic scholarship are explored, along with the provocations they offer. It also considers of Pope’s Dunciad Variorum as both a work of scholarship and a mockery of it, and looks at other landmark works from later in the period, such as Thomas Warton’s History of English Poetry, which indicate the degree to which the canon of English poetic scholarship had widened, along with its methodology, and much larger sense of the rediscovered past.

Keywords: poetry, editing, scholarship, drama, criticism

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