England and Englishness.

By John Lucas

Printed: 1990

Publisher: The Hogarth Press. London

Dimensions 17 × 24 × 3 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 17 x 24 x 3

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In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.

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            A profound, clever and book requiring one’s thought.

John Lucas’ study examines how the notion of “Englishness” is expressed in English poetry. His subject is not patriotism, but the way poets are forced to place themselves in a tradition, a relationship to the State and the Establishment, sometimes as apologists, sometimes as rebels and outsiders. Through close readings of poets from Pope and Dryden to Browning and Tennyson, “England and Englishness” charts the ambivalences and tensions which the very idea of Englishness creates, and raises many questions, such as who speaks for a nation’s consciousness, and who decides what a national identity is. John Lucas’ previous books include “The Literature of Change: Studies in the Provincial Novel” and “Moderns and Contemporaries”.

John Lucas (born 1937) is a poet, critic, biographer, anthologist and literary historian. He runs a poetry publisher called Shoestring Press, and he is the author of 92 Acharnon Street (Eland, 2007), which won the Dolman Best Travel Book Award in 2008. Lucas was born in Devon in 1937. He has taught English at universities throughout the world, and is Professor Emeritus at the Universities of Loughborough and Nottingham Trent. He has written and translated over forty books, including critical studies of Dickens, John Clare and Arnold Bennett, books on English poetry, an anthology of the works of Nancy Cunard, as well as a life of his maternal grandfather, which combines biography with social history. In 2010 he published Next Year Will Be Better: A Memoir of England in the 1950s. Since 2011, Lucas has also written several novels, including Waterdrops (2011). His collections of poetry include Studying Grosz on the Bus, winner of Aldeburgh Festival Poetry Prize, A World Perhaps: New & Selected Poems, Flute Music and Things to Say. He has also edited an anthology, The Isles of Greece, for Eland. For over ten years he was poetry reviewer for the New Statesman. His most recent books include A World Perhaps: New and Selected Poems, The Radical Twenties: Writing, Politics, Culture, and The Good That We Do. Lucas plays jazz cornet and trumpet with the Nottingham-based Burgundy Street Jazzmen. In 1994 he founded Shoestring Press.

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