The Grammar of Empire in Eighteenth-Century British Writing
This study explores the complex role of language as an instrument of empire in eighteenth-century British literature. Focusing on the relationship between England and one of its "Celtic colonies," Scotland, Janet Sorensen examines how the expansion of the British empire influenced the formation of a national standard English. The book demonstrates the ambivalence at the heart of British linguistic identity, moving from a close analysis of Scottish writers Alexander MacDonald, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, and Tobias Smollett to a revised understanding of the language use of Samuel Johnson and Jane Austen.
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