> Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 06:24:35 -0700
> From: rbryant42@...
>Subject: Tolkien, Shakespeare, et al
>With all this discussion of Professor Tolkien's perceived stature among
>his literary fellows going on, it occurs to me that one might well ask
>how much of academic interest is shaped by fashion.
>Are there any good sources about, for example, exactly how and why
>Shakespeare's perceived stature among academics and literati evolved from
>"uninspired popular hack" in the 18th century, to "The Greatest" over the
>span of the 19th? I'm not an expert in the general critical literature,
>but perhaps some of the Society folk here are, and could recommend some
>I suspect strongly that such sources might contain some interesting clues
>as to how the future may treat with JRRT's literary persona ...
>Under the Mercy,
There was an article in _PMLA_ a couple of years ago about the formation of
the canon which discussed an eighteenth century essayist who established
the first English canon--Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, if I
remember correctly. Sorry I can't do any better than that at the moment.
I tried to find it on an electronic source, but all I came up with was a
book: Jonathan Brody Kramnick's _Making the English Canon: Print-Capitalism
and the Cultural Past, 1700-1770_, Cambridge UP. I haven't read the book,
but I thought the essay was fairly interesting at the time.