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What made the classical scholar Richard Bentley deserve to be so viciously skewered by two of the literary giants of his dayAceqJonathan Swift in the Battle of the Books and Alexander Pope in the Dunciad? The answer: he had the temerity to bring classical study out of the scholar's closet and into the drawing rooms of polite society. Kristine HaugenAce(tm)s highly engaging biography of a man whom Rhodri Lewis characterized as Aceoeperhaps the most notableAceqand notoriousAceqscholar ever to have English as a mother tongueAce affords a fascinating portrait of Bentley and the intellectual turmoil he set in motion. Aiming at a convergence between scholarship and literary culture, the brilliant, caustic, and imperious Bentley revealed to polite readers the doings of professional scholars and induced them to pay attention to classical study. At the same time, Europe's most famous classical scholar adapted his own publications to the deficiencies of non-expert readers. Abandoning the church-oriented historical study of his peers, he worked on texts that interested a wider public, with spectacular andAceqin the case of his interventionist edition of Paradise LostAceqsometimes lamentable results. If the union of worlds Bentley craved was not to be achieved in his lifetime, his provocations show that professional humanism left a deep imprint on the literary world of England's Enlightenment.... Stanley synthesized all of the chronological information in his book into a a€œ Cronologiea€ of impressive appearance but ... In itself, this method of presentation was common in contemporary world chronologies and chronologies of ancient culture. But Stanley also added a further way of measuring philosophical time, entirely of his own invention: an A†ra Philo- sophica (A.P.) that ran forward from year 1anbsp;...

Author: Kristine Louise Haugen
Publisher:Harvard University Press - 2011

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