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The Nostalgic Imagination
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The Nostalgic Imagination: History in English Criticism

Stefan Collini


This unusual book explores the historical assumptions at work in the style of literary criticism that came to dominate English studies in the twentieth century. Stefan Collini shows how the work of critics renowned for their close attention to ‘the words on the page’ was in practice bound up with claims about the nature and direction of historical change, the interpretation of the national past, and the scholarship of earlier historians. Among the major figures examined in detail are T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, William Empson, and Raymond Williams, while there are also original discussions of s ... More

Keywords: literary criticism, intellectual history, twentieth-century Britain, historiography, English studies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198800170
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198800170.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stefan Collini, author
Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History and English Literature, University of Cambridge