Blackwell History of Literature
General editor: Peter Brown, University of Kent, Canterbury.
The books in this series renew and redefine a familiar form by recognising that to write literary history involves more than placing texts in chronological sequence. The emphasis within each volume falls both on plotting the significant literary developments of a given period, and on the wider cultural contexts within which they occurred. ‘Cultural history’ is construed in broad terms and authors address such issues as politics, society, the arts, ideologies, varieties of literary production and consumption, and dominant genres and modes. The effect of each volume is to give the reader a sense of possessing a crucial sector of literary terrain, of understanding the forces that give a period its distinctive cast, and of seeing how writing of a given period impacts on, and is shaped by, its cultural circumstances.