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p. 1459. The Englishness of English Literature?locked

  • Jonathan Bate

Abstract

English literature: the home of nostalgia, belonging, sceptical accommodation, dissent, ridicule, self-hatred, rebellion, and alienation. ‘The Englishness of English Literature?’ examines the accuracy of this definition. ‘English’ has to be measured against ‘British’, ‘Scottish’, ‘Welsh’, and ‘Irish’. English literature is also interested in the interplay between home and abroad. The principal creative oppositions upon which English literature is built are court versus county, and country versus city: ‘green and pleasant land’ versus ‘dark Satanic mills’. English literature lives in a melting pot containing Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Norsemen, Normans, Huguenots, Dutch, Hanoverians, Jews, migrants, refugees, colonial subjects, and many more.

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