The Oxford History of Classical Reception (OHCREL), of which the present volume is the first to appear, is designed to offer a comprehensive investigation of the numerous and diverse ways in which literary texts of the classical world have been responded to and refashioned by English writers. Covering the full range of English literature from the early Middle Ages to the present day, OHCREL both synthesizes existing scholarship and presents cutting-edge new research, employing an international team of expert contributors for each of the volumes.
OHCREL endeavours to interrogate, rather than inertly reiterate, conventional assumptions about literary 'periods', the processes of canon-formation, and the relations between literary and non-literary discourse. It conceives of 'reception' as a complex process of dialogic exchange and, rather than offering large cultural generalizations, it engages in close critical analysis of literary texts. It explores in detail the ways in which English writers' engagement with classical literature casts as much light on the classical originals as it does on the English writers' own cultural context.
When completed, this 5-volume history will be one of the largest, and potentially most important projects, in the field of classical reception ever undertaken. This third volume covers the years 1660-1790.
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