In the first collection devoted to mentoring relationships in British literature and culture, the editor and contributors offer a fresh lens through which to observe familiar and lesser known authors and texts. Employing a variety of critical and methodological approaches, which reflect the diversity of the mentoring experiences under consideration, the collection highlights in particular the importance of mentoring in expanding print culture. Topics include John Wilmot the Earl of Rochester's relationships to a range of role models, John Dryden's mentoring of women writers, Alexander Pope's problematic attempts at mentoring, the vexed nature of Jonathan Swift's cross-gender and cross-class mentoring relationships, Samuel Richardson's largely unsuccessful efforts to influence Urania Hill Johnson, and an examination of Elizabeth Carter and Samuel Johnson's as co-mentors of one another's work. Taken together, the essays further the case for mentoring as a globally operative critical concept, not only in the eighteenth century, but in other literary periods as well.
Anthony W. Lee, who teaches at Arkansas Tech University and University of Maryland University College, has published a book and several articles on Johnson and his circle. He is currently finishing an annotated edition of Johnson’s Rambler.
'... the essays demonstrate the limitations of mentoring as a uniting modality which is adequate to the real. But more importantly, perhaps, this recurrent return of repressed variety helps us better understand why so many eighteenth-century miscellanies thought learning better served by exuberant cultivation of the diverse, the disparate, and the unexpected.' Review of English Studies 'All of the essays are pleasantly jargon free, informative and well written.' SHARP News '[This book] reveals the subtle balancing of seriousness and humour in both canonical and noncanonical texts.' The Scriblerian 'The scholars who contribute to the 2010 collection Mentoring in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture ... expand the contemporary notion of mentoring and challenge readers to ponder new relationships among writers, readers, and their common texts. ... Through careful research and imaginative textual investigations and reconstructions, the scholars in this collection bring into focus new perspectives on visible and well-known mentoring relationships and relationships tllat have, until now, remained invisible and unexplored.' ECCB