Annabel Patterson tackles the hottest topic in literary studies today - `the Great Books debate - providing a superbly formulated moderate stance between the Western canon's radical oppponents and its zealous protectors.
Introduction 1. "Just Reading" or Reading Plato's Laws 2. Couples, Canons, and the Uncouth: Spenser-and Milton 3. A Petitioning Society 4. The Egalitarian Giant: Representations of Justice in History/Literature 5. The Small Cat Massacre: Popular Culture in the 1587 "Holinshed" 6. Quod oportet versus quod convenit: John Donne, Kingsman? 7. The Good Old Cause The Republican's Library, "The Civil War is not ended": Milton's Modern Readers 8. Sleeping with the Enemy, Milton Uncouples Himself, The Rape of Lucrece, Sleeping with the Enemy, Postscript: The Return from Theory, Index