Making the English Canon:Print-Capitalism and the Cultural Past, 1700-1770

Jonathan Kramnick
June 2008

Jonathan Brody Kramnick’s book examines the formation of the English canon over the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century. Kramnick details how the idea of literary tradition emerged out of a prolonged engagement with the institutions of cultural modernity, from the public sphere and national identity to capitalism and the print market. Looking at a wide variety of eighteenth-century critical writing, he analyzes the tensions that inhabited the categories of national literature and public culture at the moment of their emergence.