Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Poetry and the Making of the English Literary Past1660-1781$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard Terry

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198186236

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186236.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 July 2021

Classicists and Gothicists: The Division of the Estate

Classicists and Gothicists: The Division of the Estate

(p.286) 9 Classicists and Gothicists: The Division of the Estate
Poetry and the Making of the English Literary Past

Richard Terry (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the rivalry between the classical and gothic literature that still animates our own perception not just of our literary past but also of our present-day literary possibilities, though the space of the non-classical has since been lost to gothic and has instead been commandeered by the upstart term ‘Romanticism’. This new understanding of English literature as an estate divided unhappily between the classic and the gothic represents a loss of cultural innocence, as the native literary heritage has for the first time to encompass the fact of difference and relativism. One way of approaching developments in literary history in the mid-18th century is through the fortunes of the Renaissance poet, Edmund Spenser. The battle between the gothicists and classicists produced an obvious casualty, Alexander Pope: no clearer example exists of a revolution in aesthetic taste leading to a major author being ousted from, or at least being relegated within, the literary canon.

Keywords:   English literature, poetry, literary history, Edmud Spenser, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Geoffrey Chaucer, literary canon, classical literature, gothic literature

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .