Advertisement

Critics and Professors

  • Carol Atherton

Abstract

In the last chapter, we saw that a number of models of English were starting to emerge from the earliest degree courses, as staff in the new university departments tried to decide what kind of academic syllabus would be most appropriate to the study of English literature. Wallace Martin has identified three distinct conceptual structures as dominating these early courses — the historical, philological and classical conceptions of literary study1 — and these structures are clearly supported by the archival research outlined in Chapter 2. The new institutions represented by King’s, Nottingham and Manchester were the home of a version of literary study that was dominated by remembered historical facts, while the early course at Oxford had been philological in content. At Cambridge, meanwhile, Quiller-Couch had promoted a version of English that emphasised the continuum between classical and modern civilisations, centring on the power of culture to communicate a humane understanding of life.

Keywords

Literary Criticism Literary History Aesthetic Experience Literary Knowledge Personal Authority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Wallace Martin, ‘Criticism and the Academy’, in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 7: Modernism and the New Criticism, ed. A. Walton Litz, Louis Menand and Lawrence Rainey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 279.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Laurel Brake, Subjugated Knowledges: Journalism, Gender and Literature in the Nineteenth Century (London: Macmillan, 1994).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    These periodicals were aimed at differing audiences and had widely differing editorial policies. The Cornhill Magazine, edited in the nineteenth century by both W. M. Thackeray and Leslie Stephen, aimed to cultivate popular taste while combining this with high-quality literary reviews. Macmillan’s Magazine, meanwhile, contained more serious articles, with contributors including the academics Adolphus William Ward (Professor of English Literature and History at Manchester), George Webbe Dasent (Professor of English Literature and Modern History at King’s College) and A. C. Bradley. Some periodicals aimed at breadth of coverage: Others sought to offer lengthy articles on a small number of topics. See Walter E. Houghton (ed.), The Wellesley Index to Victorian periodicals, 1824–1900, 5 vols. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966–1989); Sullivan, British Literary Magazines. Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Joanne Shattock, Politics and Reviewers: TheEdinburghand theQuarterlyin the Early Victorian Age (London: Leicester University Press, 1989), p. 13.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    For details of these processes, see Altick, The English Common Reader; Clive Bloom (ed.), Literature and Culture in Modem Britain, I, 1900–1929 (London: Longman, 1993); John Carey, The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880–1939 (London: Faber & Faber, 1992); Gross, Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters; Josephine M. Guy and Ian Small, ‘The British “man of letters” and the rise of the Professional’, in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 7: Modernism and the New Criticism, ed. A. Walton Litz, Louis Menand and Lawrence Rainey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Wallace Martin, ‘Criticism and the Academy’; Jeremy Treglown and Bridget Bennett (eds), Grub Street and the Ivory Tower: Literary Journalism and Literary Scholarship from Fielding to the Internet (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    These processes are detailed in Brake, Subjugated Knowledges; Guy and Small, Politics and Value in English Studies and ‘The British “man of Ietters”’; Heyck, Transformation of Intellectual Life; Levine, The Amateur and the Professional; Ian Small, Conditions for Criticism: Authority, Knowledge and Literature in the Late Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Anonymous review of David Masson’s The Life of John Milton, Athenaeum, no. 2732 (6 March 1880), p. 303.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    James Spedding, ‘The Story of The Merchant of Venice’, Cornhill Magazine, 41 (1880), pp. 276–9.Google Scholar
  9. 16.
    See Carey, The Intellectuals and the Masses. Google Scholar
  10. 17.
    Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (London, 1928: Grafton, 1977), p. 32.Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    Stanley Leathes, The Teaching of English at the Universities (English Association pamphlet no. 26, October 1913), p. 9.Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    John Churton Collins, ‘English Literature at the Universities’, Quarterly Review, 163 (1886), pp. 300, 313–14.Google Scholar
  13. 21.
    Edmund Gosse, A Short History of Modern English Literature (London: Heinemann, [1897] 1925), p. 106.Google Scholar
  14. 22.
    W. P. Ker, On Modern Literature: Lectures and Addresses, ed. Terence Spencer and James Sutherland (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955), p. 182.Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    George Saintsbury, A History of Nineteenth Century Literature (London, 1896: Macmillan, 1906), pp. 445, 461.Google Scholar
  16. 27.
    Stefan Collini, Arnold (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 19.Google Scholar
  17. 31.
    See George Watson, The Literary Critics: A Study of English Descriptive Criticism (London: Penguin, 1962), pp. 15–16.Google Scholar
  18. 35.
    Walter Pater, Appreciations: With an Essay on Style (London: Macmillan, [1889] 1931), p. 14.Google Scholar
  19. 42.
    Adam Phillips, introduction to Walter Pater, The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry, ed. Adam Phillips (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. ix.Google Scholar
  20. 47.
    Walter Raleigh, Shakespeare (London: Macmillan, 1907), p. 109.Google Scholar
  21. 61.
    Edmund Gosse, Gray (London: Macmillan, [1882] 1909), pp. v-vif.Google Scholar
  22. 62.
    W. J. Courthope, A History of English Poetry, I (London: Macmillan, 1895), pp. 3–4, n. 1; p. xxiii; p. 70, n. 1.Google Scholar
  23. 76.
    A. C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy (London: Macmillan, [1904] 1958), p. 13.Google Scholar
  24. 77.
    L. C. Knights, Explorations: Essays in Criticism Mainly on the Literature of the Seventeenth Century (London, 1946: Penguin, 1964), pp. 15, 27.Google Scholar
  25. 78.
    Edward Dowden, Shakspere: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner, [1875] 1900), pp. xiv, 5.Google Scholar
  26. 93.
    Sir Walter Raleigh, On Writing and Writers, ed. George Gordon (London: Arnold, 1926), p. 215.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Carol Atherton 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol Atherton

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations