This, Howard D.Weinbrot's magnum opus, draws on a large range of material to chronicle the developing confidence in British national literature from the 1670s to the 1770s. Using varied biblical, classical, English, economic, French, historical, literary, philosophical, political and Scottish sources, Professor Weinbrot shows that one of the central trends of eighteenth-century Britain was the movement away from classical towards native values and models. He demonstrates for example that Dryden's Essay of Dramatick Poesy reflects nationalist aesthetics, that Pope's Rape of the Lock affirms domestic peace while rejecting Homeric violence, and that Windsor Forest sings un-Roman peaceful expansion through trade. This learned and lucidly written book offers revisionist but historically grounded interpretations of these and many other important works. It also helps to characterize the complex and varied culture in eighteenth-century Britain.