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The Most Disreputable TradePublishing the Classics of English Poetry 1765-1810$
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Thomas F. Bonnell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532209.001.0001

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Splinter Canons, Fugitives, and Empire

Splinter Canons, Fugitives, and Empire

Chapter:
(p.309) 10. Splinter Canons, Fugitives, and Empire
Source:
The Most Disreputable Trade
Author(s):

Thomas F. Bonnell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532209.003.0011

This chapter discusses the English poetic canon and reflects on how fugitive or miscellaneous verse on the periphery came to be redefined, how women were left out, and how other national identities within Britain were minimized. The first two sections of the chapter argue that as the ‘body of standard poetry’ kept increasing in the course of its ‘triumph’, it also kept breaking apart and generating splinter canons on the side. The third section examines how and why literary contributions of women have been overlooked. The fourth section examines the tension between Scottish, Irish, British, and English publishers regarding national identity and the standing of their poets. The fifth section investigates the power of the British classics to attract the cultural products of other countries or remake them into its own image, and the strong projection of English literature into the world as a facet of Britain's imperial outreach.

Keywords:   English poetic canon, fugitive verse, women, Britain, national identity, British classics, Irish, Scottish

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