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Shakespeare and South Africa$
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David Johnson

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183150

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183150.001.0001

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Minorities against English Studies: The 1930s

Minorities against English Studies: The 1930s

(p.111) 4 Minorities against English Studies: The 1930s
Shakespeare and South Africa

David Johnson

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that the figure of the Victorian gentleman critic casts a long shadow over English criticism in the twentieth century, and that all critics writing after World War I define themselves as in some way trying to occupy the centre vacated by A. C. Bradley and his generation. This applies to critics in England, but with particular force to critics in the Cape Colony. The chapter also shows that the accommodation of dissenting critical voices in the academy has no predictable effect in the practice of English literature teaching at the school level. William Shakespeare occupied a central place in the educational institutions of Britain and the Cape Colony towards the end of the nineteenth century. This asymmetry between high-school and university Shakespeare is taken to be important in securing the relation of minorities to the teaching of English.

Keywords:   English criticism, critics, A. C. Bradley, Cape Colony, English literature, William Shakespeare, educational institutions, minorities

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