A Brief Introduction to “The Literature of Power”

The link below includes Thomas De Quincey’s “The Literature of Knowledge and the Literature of Power,” which was first published in the literary periodical North British Review (August , 1848; revised in 1858) as part of a larger essay on Alexander Pope (one of the authors covered in our course).  It is one of the earliest manifestos on the idea of a British literature survey.



Here’s a brief biography of De Quincey from the Victorian Web, a highly recommended academic resource:


FYI-this YouTube clip offers a concise informative survey of Restoration and 18th-century British Literature, the topic for the first half of this course.  It does a great job of providing some basic literary and historical context for the authors and works we will be studying in this course.  This quick survey will also give you a sense of the authors and works we will be skipping over.

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