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History of UniversitiesVolume XXVI/2$
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Mordechai Feingold

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199668380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199668380.001.0001

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The Enlightenments of Richard Bentley

The Enlightenments of Richard Bentley

(p.196) The Enlightenments of Richard Bentley
History of Universities

N. J. S. Hardy

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews Richard Bentley: Poetry and Enlightenment, Kristine Haugen's account of Richard Bentley's classical scholarship. Synthesising the history of scholarship and the study of English literature, Haugen examines Bentley's public career by tracing the tensions between ‘vernacular’, ‘polite’ reading, and ‘professional humanism’ in late Renaissance and early Enlightenment England. To lay the foundations for a contextual account of Bentley's work, she begins with the ‘arcane, specialised, ecclesiastical’ English scholarship of the seventeenth century. Haugen cites John Pearson, Thomas Stanley, and Thomas Gale as evidence to support her claim that it was in London, not Cambridge, that Bentley established his reputation — immersing himself in the new and second-hand book trade, the world of ecclesiastical patronage, and the culture of theological and political pamphleteering. Haugen also tackles the European traditions of scholarship represented by figures like Isaac Vossius, a Dutchman who spent his last years in England.

Keywords:   classical scholarship, Richard Bentley, Kristine Haugen, Renaissance, Enlightenment, England, book trade, ecclesiastical patronage, pamphleteering, Isaac Vossius

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