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Reading It Wrong : An Alternative History of Early Eighteenth-Century Literature

Title
Reading It Wrong : An Alternative History of Early Eighteenth-Century Literature / Abigail Williams.
ISBN
9780691252346
9780691170688
9780691252513
Publication
Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2023.
Manufacture
Baltimore, Md. : Project MUSE, 2023
Copyright Notice Date
©2023.
Physical Description
1 online resource.
Local Notes
Access is available to the Yale community.
Notes
Description based on print version record.
Access and use
Access restricted by licensing agreement.
Summary
"How eighteenth-century literature depended on misinterpretation--and how this still shapes the way we read. Reading It Wrong is a new history of eighteenth-century English literature that explores what has been everywhere evident but rarely talked about: the misunderstanding, muddle and confusion of readers of the past when they first met the uniquely elusive writings of the period. Abigail Williams uses the marginal marks and jottings of these readers to show that flawed interpretation has its own history--and its own important role to play--in understanding how, why and what we read. Focusing on the first half of the eighteenth century, the golden age of satire, Reading It Wrong tells how a combination of changing readerships and fantastically tricky literature created the perfect grounds for puzzlement and partial comprehension. Through the lens of a history of imperfect reading, we see that many of the period's major works--by writers including Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Mary Wortley Montagu, Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift--both generated and depended upon widespread misreading. Being foxed by a satire, coded fiction or allegory was, like Wordle or the cryptic crossword, a form of entertainment, and perhaps a group sport. Rather than worrying that we don't have all the answers, we should instead recognize the cultural importance of not knowing"-- Provided by publisher.
Variant and related titles
Project MUSE complete collection 2023.
Format
Books / Online
Language
English
Added to Catalog
October 03, 2023
Contents
Cover
Contents
Acknowledgements
Reading It Wrong: An Introduction
1. The Good Reader
2. The Christian Reader
3. The Classical Reader
4. The Literary Reader
5. Mind the Gap: Reading Topically
6. The Intimacy of Omission
7. Unlocking the Past
8. Out of Control
9. Messing with Readers
Afterword
Notes
Index
Genre/Form
Literary criticism.
Literary criticism.
History.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Also listed under
Project Muse. distributor
Citation

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