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

By Simon Jarvis | Go to book overview

3
The Venal and the Vain: The Attack on Gentlemanly Editing

EVER SINCE Johnson, many critics have taken Pope's hostility to textual criticism as a simple result of his own discomfiture in the field.1 As we have seen, however, Pope's distrust of minute criticism predated his own edition and was evident even in its preface. His satirical attacks on it need to be seen not merely as the result of hurt pride,2 but in the context of the Scriblerian distrust of 'the new "professional" scholars' upon which Brean Hammondhas remarked.3 The principal textual-critical responses to Pope's editorial work were prompted by a desire to contest the view that the disinterested gentleman of letters was the best custodian of Shakespeare's text. This disagreement with the presuppositions of Pope's work had important consequences for the project of using critical editing to help polish and refine the English language. It also prompted in part the Dunciad's new and more complex representation of minute criticism. In Pope's later satire on excessively minute criticism both the interested specialist and the leisured dilettante are taken as potential corruptors of the text. Moreover, excessively minute scholarship is taken, both in the Dunciadand in a number of other works of the 1730s, not only as low and interested, but as complicit with, and akin to, arbitrary government. The result is a shift of emphasis in Pope's view of textual criticism which has an important influence on the self-representation and editorial practice of Pope's successors.


1

Lewis Theobald, for one, was unimpressed by Pope's claim to have edited with 'a religious abhorrence of all innovation', not merely because he

____________________
1
Samuel Johnson, Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of the English Poets ( 10 vols., London, 1779-81), vii. 117.
2
Felicity Rosslyn has recently made a similar point: Alexander Pope ( London, 1990), 82.
3
Brean Hammond, "Scriblerian Self-Fashioning", Yearbook of English Studies, 18 ( 1988), 108-24 (p. 110).

-63-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Scholars and Gentlemen: Shakespearian Textual Criticism and Representations of Scholarly Labour, 1725-1765
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 234

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.