The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918

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9780198121077: The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918

The Oxford Book of English Verse was first published in 1900 and it initiated the famous series of Oxford Books that has been running ever since. It quickly established itself as a classic anthology, equal to Palgrave's Golden Treasury in popularity and public recognition. Having sold half a million copies in 21 impressions, a second edition appeared in 1939, extending the book by a hundred pages and increasing the representation of the early part of the twentieth century. Concentrating for the most part on lyrical poetry, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch sought to range over the whole field of English verse from the thirteenth century to the close of the First World War. He established an arrangement of the poets by date of birth, using modernized spelling after the very earliest poems. He held firmly to the belief that old favourites deserved their place as much as new discoveries, and held himself at odds with those who sneer 'at things long by catholic consent accounted beautiful'. In declaring the enduring nature of the English verse tradition, 'Q' ensured that The Oxford Book of English Verse would itself endure and prosper.

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Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, familiarly known as `Q', published criticism, verse, fiction, and anthologies throughout his career. He was knighted in 1910 and appointed King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University in 1912.

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