Skip to main content

Out of stock



A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry

Christine Gerrard (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-11316-8 September 2006 Wiley-Blackwell 624 Pages

Out of stock


This broad-ranging Companion offers readers a thorough grounding in both the background and the substance of eighteenth-century poetry in all its rich variety.

  • Provides an up-to-date and wide-ranging guide to eighteenth-century poetry
  • Reflects the dramatic transformation which has taken place in the study of eighteenth-century poetry over the past two decades
  • Opens with a section on contexts, discussing poetry’s relationships with patriotism, politics, science, and the visual arts, for example
  • Discusses poetry by male and female poets from all walks of life
  • Includes numerous close readings of individual poems, ranging from Pope’s The Rape of the Lock to Mary Collier’s The Woman’s Labour
  • Includes more provocative contributions on subjects such as rural poetry and the self-taught tradition, British poetry 'beyond the borders', the constructions of femininity, women as writers and women as readers.
  • Designed to be used alongside David Fairer and Christine Gerrard’s Eighteenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology, 3rd edition (Wiley Blackwell, 2014)

Notes on Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1
Christine Gerrard

PART I Contexts and Perspectives 5

1 Poetry, Politics, and the Rise of Party 7
Christine Gerrard

2 Poetry, Politics, and Empire 23
Suvir Kaul

3 Poetry and Science 38
Clark Lawlor

4 Poetry and Religion 53
Emma Mason

5 Poetic Enthusiasm 69
John D. Morillo

6 Poetry and the Visual Arts 83
Robert Jones

7 Poetry, Popular Culture, and the Literary Marketplace 97
George Justice

8 Women Poets and Their Writing in Eighteenth-Century Britain 111
Charlotte Grant

9 Poetry, Sentiment, and Sensibility 127
Jennifer Keith

PART II Readings 143

10 John Gay, The Shepherd's Week 145
Mina Gorji

11 Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock and "Eloisa to Abelard" 157
Valerie Rumbold

12 Jonathan Swift, the "Stella" Poems 170
Ros Ballaster

13 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Six Town Eclogues and Other Poems 184
Isobel Grundy

14 James Thomson, The Seasons 197
Christine Gerrard

15 Stephen Duck, The Thresher's Labour, and Mary Collier, The Woman's Labour 209
John Goodridge

16 Mary Leapor, "Crumble-Hall" 223
David Fairer

17 Mark Akenside, The Pleasures of Imagination 237
Adam Rounce

18 Samuel Johnson, London and The Vanity of Human Wishes 252
David F. Venturo

19 William Collins, "Ode on the Poetical Character" 265
John Sitter

20 Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard 277
Suvir Kaul

21 Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno 290
Chris Mounsey

22 Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village, and George Crabbe, The Village 303
Caryn Chaden

23 William Cowper, The Task 316
Freya Johnston

24 Robert Burns, "Tam o' Shanter" 329
Murray Pittock

PART III Forms and Genres 339

25 Rhyming Couplets and Blank Verse 341
Richard Bradford

26 Epic and Mock-Heroic 356
Richard Terry

27 Verse Satire 369
Brean Hammond

28 The Ode 386
Margaret M. Koehler

29 The Georgic 403
Juan Christian Pellicer

30 The Verse Epistle 417
Bill Overton

PART IV Themes and Debates 429

31 The Constructions of Femininity 431
Kathryn R. King

32 Whig and Tory Poetics 444
Abigail Williams

33 The Classical Inheritance 458
David Hopkins

34 Augustanism and Pre-Romanticism 473
Thomas Woodman

35 Recovering the Past: Shakespeare, Spenser, and British Poetic Tradition 486
Carolyn D. Williams

36 The Pleasures and Perils of the Imagination 500
Paul Baines

37 The Sublime 515
Shaun Irlam

38 Poetry and the City 534
Markman Ellis

39 Cartography and the Poetry of Place 549
Rachel Crawford

40 Rural Poetry and the Self-Taught Tradition 563
Bridget Keegan

41 Poetry Beyond the English Borders 577
Gerard Carruthers

Index 590

  • Brings together original contributions by leading international scholars and practising poets.

  • Offers critical and contextual coverage of the full range of English-language poetry in the twentieth-century.

  • Incorporates new readings of key selected texts.

  • Embraces the extraordinary development of poetry over the century in twenty English-speaking countries.

  • Fully integrates women poets, feminist approaches and post-colonial poets.