Scholars and Gentlemen: Shakespearian Textual Criticism and Representations of Scholarly Labour, 1725-1765

Synopsis

Among the earliest editors of Shakespeare were several of the eighteenth century's most powerful writers. Scholars and Gentlemen demonstrates how much was at stake for these writers in the editing of English texts. Jarvis examines not only eighteenth-century texts of Shakespeare, but also sources as disparate as Pope's Dunciad, eighteenth-century classical and scriptural editing, and Johnson's Dictionary to show the importance of politically contested representations of scholars and scholarship for the formation of British public literary culture. Offering an unprecedentedly detailed account of both editorial theory and philological practice during the period, the book throws new light on a wide variety of issues, from the debates over the possibility of a polite and settled national language to the epistemological and cultural presuppositions of editorial method.