This volume is devoted to Augustan and 18th-century literature, from the 1660s, decade of the English Revolution, to the 1780s and 1790s, decades of revolution abroad. Most of the great writers of the age were engaged in public life and politics. By the 1740s, which saw the deaths of Pope and Swift and the publication of "Pamela" and "Tom Jones", writers were looking away from Rome towards the Bible, Greek poetry and earlier English literature for inspiration. The 12 contributors to this volume integrate a sense of context with critical responses to the works in question. There are chapters on individual writers - Dryden, Swift, Pope, Sterne and Johnson - together with essays that explore the central figures and developments in the poetry, drama, fiction, prose and criticism of the period. Published in ten volumes, "The Penguin History of Literature" is a critical survey of English and American literature covering 14 centuries, from the Anglo-Saxons to the present.
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