The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English: Volume 3: 1660-1790

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This groundbreaking five-volume history runs from the Middle Ages to the year 2000. It is a critical history, treating translations wherever appropriate as literary works in their own right, and reveals the vital part played by translators and translation in shaping the literary culture of the English-speaking world, both for writers and readers. It thus offers new and often challenging perspectives on the history of literature in English. As well as examining the translations and their wider impact, it explores the processes by which they came into being and were disseminated, and provides extensive bibliographical and biographical reference material.

Volume 3 of the Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, the first of the five to appear, lies at the chronological center of the History, and explores in full breadth both the rich tradition of translated literature in English, and its centrality to the "native" tradition.

Quite independently of their wider impact, the translations of the age of Dryden and Pope, Behn and Smart, Macpherson and Smollett in themselves command the fullest attention, and Volume 3 explores their intrinsic interest as fully-fledged English literary works. In this period, translation—particularly from Latin, Greek, and French—acts as a constant point of reference and a crucial shaping force in English writing. It is an era in which key literary innovations—the heroic couplet, the sublime, primitivism—are fostered, and sometimes directly occasioned, by translation as a discipline and by translations as models. This volume also attends, therefore, to the influence of translation on forms and styles used in the wider literary arena, and its contribution to conceptions of the English literary canon (for which this period was formative).

Volume 3 draws on the work of thirty-two contributors from six countries in order to deal adequately with the prolific and diffuse nature of the translation phenomenon in the 1660-1790 period, and the challenge it presents to literary scholarship as traditionally organized. To the audience it will find among scholars of English Literature and elsewhere, this complete version of a story hitherto told only piecemeal will be a revelation. This volume proposes a map of the period completely different from those drawn in other modern literary histories, a map in which boundaries between "original" and translated work in publishers' output, in readers' experience, in writers' oeuvres, and in the English literary achievement as a whole are redrawn—or erased—at a stroke. What is more, it demonstrates that such a view of English literature was predominant within the period itself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An invaluable resource for the historical study of translation in the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries and an excellent addition to the generally inadequate historiography of translation." —The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

"...Monumental achievement...admirably comprehensive project." —Diego Saglia

"...Characterised by clarity and coherence, and which provides an excellent balance between brief summary easily accessible to the non-specialist and detailed critical study of interest to readers with greater knowledge in particular areas." —The Seventeenth Century

"Anyone asking questions about literary reception or more generally considering the myriad effects of translation in English during the period will do well to have this invaluable book at hand." —Modern Philology

"A major resource that will provide new insights into the development of the literary canon... The amount of information contained is prodigious...Should remain a standard reference work for a long time." —Modern Language Quarterly

"The five-volume Oxford History of Literary Translation in in a superior category altogether, obviously planned with careful thought and organization...This splendid volume makes an auspicious start for what promises to be a very important history. It goes far towards establishing for the first time how ubiquitous is the contribution that translation has made to our literature." —Translation and Literature

"The editors and contributors are to be warmly congratulated for assembling, consolidating and making available so much useful knowledge" —TLS

"For academics and general readers with an interest in the Restoration and Enlightenment period of English literature, this book is a fascinating source of information which through its judicious selection of examples of translated work gives the reader a clear idea of the strengths of the individual works under discussion." —European Journal of English Studies

"This History deals with its huge subject area... and treats biblical translation by breaking down its material into succinct, well-referenced sub-chapters by various expert hands...The coverage is excellent, and the excitement of opening up relatively unknown areas comes across in most of the contributions." —The Year's Work in English Studies

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Stuart Gillespie took his BA, MA, and Ph.D at Downing College, Cambridge (1977-87), and was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Glasgow in 1983. He is now Reader in English Literature at Glasgow, and lives in Glasgow with his wife Karen and their four children. He was in 1992 founding editor of Translation and Literature (Edinburgh University Press), now the preeminent scholarly journal in its field, which he continues to edit. He has recently acted or is acting as an editor, advisor, and/or contributor on numerous standard reference works and other large projects, including the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the Oxford Companion to English Literature, the Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, the Harvard UP compilation The Classical Tradition, the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, the Dictionary of British Classicists, and The Year's Work in English Studies.

David Hopkins is Professor of English Literature at the University of Bristol.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Place of Translation in the Literary and Cultural Field, 1660-1790
1.1. Translation and Canon-Formation, Stuart Gillespie
1.2. Translation and Literary Innovation, Stuart Gillespie and Robin Sowerby
1.3. The Publishing and Readership of Translation, Stuart Gillespie and Penelope Wilson
Chapter 2: Theories of Translation
2.1. Dryden and his Contemporaries, David Hopkins
2.2. The Eighteenth Century to Tytler, Louis Kelly
Chapter 3: The Translator
3.1. The Translator's Trade, David Hopkins and Pat Rogers
3.2. Poetic Translators: An Overview, Penelope Wilson
3.3. Tobias Smollett: A Case Study, Leslie Chilton
3.4. Women Translators, Sarah Annes Brown
Chapter 4: The Developing Corpus of Literary Translation Stuart Gillespie
Chapter 5: Classical Greek and Latin Literature
5.1. Epic, Robin Sowerby
5.2. Lyric, Pastoral, and Elegy, Penelope Wilson
5.3. Didactic Poetry, Paul Davis
5.4. Ovid, Garth Tissol
5.5. Roman Satire and Epigram, David Hopkins
5.6. Drama, Paulina Kewes
5.7. Moralists, Orators, and Literary Critics, Tom Winnifrith
5.8. Greek Historians, Tom Winnifrith
5.9. Latin Historians, Tom Winnifrith
5.10. Prose Fiction and Fable, Glyn Pursglove and Karina Williamson
Chapter 6: French Literature
6.1. Poetry, Peter France
6.2. Drama, Paulina Kewes
6.3. Prose Fiction: Excluding Romance, Stephen Ahern
6.4. Prose Fiction: Courtly and Popular Romance, Jennifer Birkett
6.5. Fairy Tales, Fables, and Children's Literature, Penelope Brown
6.6. Moralists and Philosophers, Peter France
6.7. Literary Criticism, Philip Smallwood
6.8. Voltaire and Rousseau, Peter France
Chapter 7: Other Modern European Literatures
7.1. Italian Literature, Richard Bates
7.2. Spanish Literature, Richard Hitchcock
7.3. Ossian, Primitivism, Celticism, Fiona Stafford
7.4. Chaucer and other Earlier English Poetry, Tom Mason
Chapter 8: Middle Eastern and Oriental Literature
8.1. The Birth of Orientalism: Sir William Jones, Clive Holes
8.2. Biblical Translation and Paraphrase, Donald Mackenzie
8.3. The Arabian Nights' Entertainments and other 'Oriental' Tales, Robert Mack
Chapter 9: Post-Classical Latin Literature Robert Cummings
Chapter 10: The Translators: Biographical Sketches

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