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Class and the Canon
 
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Class and the Canon
Constructing Labouring-Class Poetry and Poetics, 1780-1900
Edited by Kirstie Blair and Mina Gorji
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
13 Nov 2012
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£53.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9781137030320
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This essay collection focuses on a continuous tradition of labouring-class poetics, from burns in the eighteenth century to the mid-late century Victorian dialect poets who saw themselves, and were seen as, his direct heirs. It speaks to recent scholarly interest in and recovery of labouring-class writing from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By focusing on how labouring-class poets constructed themselves and were constructed by critics as part of a 'canon', how they situated their work in relation to peers and contemporaries, as well as more established poets from their own and earlier periods, the essays here highlight the complexities of labouring-class poetic identities and practices across this period. The poets and critics discussed, coming from diverse backgrounds in terms of regional idntity, level of education, and involvement in established literary culture, complicate our understanding of what labouring-class poets might do and might achieve.


Description

This essay collection focuses on a continuous tradition of labouring-class poetics, from burns in the eighteenth century to the mid-late century Victorian dialect poets who saw themselves, and were seen as, his direct heirs. It speaks to recent scholarly interest in and recovery of labouring-class writing from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By focusing on how labouring-class poets constructed themselves and were constructed by critics as part of a 'canon', how they situated their work in relation to peers and contemporaries, as well as more established poets from their own and earlier periods, the essays here highlight the complexities of labouring-class poetic identities and practices across this period. The poets and critics discussed, coming from diverse backgrounds in terms of regional idntity, level of education, and involvement in established literary culture, complicate our understanding of what labouring-class poets might do and might achieve.


Reviews

'This paradigm shifting collection of essays is to be recommended to anyone interested in the interface between literature and history. The editors are to be congratulated on bringing together such an impressive cast of contributors. There are ground-breaking readings of familiar figures such as Ann Yearsley and John Clare and fascinating analyses of less familar ones such as Samuel Thomson. But what really sets this volume apart is the profound attention given to the complex relations between class and canon. The editors have put these topics back where they belong, right at the heart of critical debate.' - Gary Day, Principal Lecturer in English, De Montfort University, UK
 
'By complicating the notion of class, Blair and Gorji's outstanding collection advances the study of labouring-class poets in exciting new directions. Contributors expand our appreciation of the importance of poets such as Burns, Clare, and Barnes and introduce us to figures, such as Samuel Thomson and Samuel Ferguson, whose work deserves deeper consideration. The essays offer innovative contexts for re-envisioning the work of a wide range of writers and challenge the marginalization of laboring-class poetry in literary history.' - Professor Bridget Keegan, Department of English, Creighton University, USA







 


Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Introduction; K.Blair
Was Burns a Labouring-Class Poet?; N.Leask
Constructing the Ulster Labouring-Class Poet: The Case of Samuel Thomson; J.Orr
Sociable or Solitary? John Clare, Robert Bloomfield, Community and Isolation; J.Goodridge
John Clare and the Triumph of Little Things; M.Gorji
'No more than as an atom 'mid the vast profound: Conceptions of Time in the Poetry of William Cowper, William Wordsworth, and Ann Yearsley; K.Andrews
The Pen and the Hammer: Thomas Carlyle, Ebenezer Elliott, and the 'active poet'; M.Waithe
Samuel Ferguson's Maudlin Jumble; M.Campbell
Courtly Lays or Democratic Songs? The Politics of Poetic Citation in Chartist Literary Criticism; M.Sanders
Edwin Waugh: The Social and Literary Standing of a Working-Class Icon; B.Hollingworth
William Barnes's Place and Dialects of Connection; S.Edney
Index


Authors

KIRSTIE BLAIR is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, UK. She has published widely on nineteenth-century literature and is the author of two monographs on Victorian poetry, Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion and Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart.
MINA GORJI is a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, UK. She has published widely on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, and her monograph John Clare and the Place of Poetry appeared in 2008.