Robert Crawford

Life
Scottish critic; author of Devolving English Literature (Clarendon 1992), 320pp., in which he records that Thomas Sheridan, f. of Richard Brinsley, showed Boswell the road to London in order to meet the embodiment of English literature - an Irishman and a Scotsman exemplifying the thesis that the canon is created at the periphery; Crawford notes that the first professors of English Literature in Britain were Scots, not Englishmen, and that the concept of a national literature was therefore evolved at the periphery not the centre.

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Quotations
‘The works which became canonical were those affording examples of “proper English” which would permit speakers of provincial dialect, even if they were unable to master correct southern pronunciation, to write a uniform, standard English purged of cultural peculiarity.’ (Cited in review by Lachlan Mackinnon, TLS 1 Jan. 1993, p.5-6.)

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