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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the introduction of English poetry into schoolrooms and lecture halls during the eighteenth century. It considers some of the textbooks most instrumental in this process, as well as the syllabi followed in various educational institutions. Most attention is focused on Dissenting academies and Scottish universities, which pioneered the rise of poetry as a taught subject at higher levels of study. However, the chapter argues that the objectives toward which poetry was taught during this period are not necessarily ones with which we would identify nowadays. The teaching of poetry was mainly subordinated to a larger set of aspirations, such as the improvement of communication skills or, in connection with Scottish institutions, the mission of cultural anglicization.

Keywords: poetry, education, universities, Dissenting academies, Scotland

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