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Geoffrey Hill and his Contexts

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Edited By Piers Pennington and Matthew Sperling

Geoffrey Hill is one of the most significant poets currently at work in the English language. The essays gathered in this book present a number of new contexts in which to explore a wide range of his writings, from the poems he wrote as an undergraduate to the recent volumes A Treatise of Civil Power (2007) and Collected Critical Writings (2008). Connections are made between the early and the later poetry, and between the poetry and the criticism, and archival materials are considered along with the published texts. The essays also make comparisons across disciplines, discussing Hill’s work in relation to theology, philosophy and intellectual history, to literature from other languages, and to the other arts. In doing so, they cast fresh light upon Hill’s dense, original and sometimes challenging writings, opening them up in new ways for all readers of his work.

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Acknowledgements vii

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Acknowledgements We are grateful to a number of institutions and individuals for making the conference and the proceedings documented in this book possible. We should like to thank all those involved at Keble College, Oxford, and, for their generous awards of funding, the British Academy, the English Faculty, Oxford, the Keble Association, and Oxford University Press. We should like to thank the college’s then Warden, Averil Cameron, for her whole- hearted support of the project, from beginning to end, and Janet Betts, the Domestic Bursar, for her assistance with the practical elements of its organisation. We are grateful to Ruth Cowan, the college’s Development Of ficer, and to Robert Petre, the archivist, for his curation of the exhibi- tion which included the manuscripts of ‘Genesis’, among other items. We remain deeply grateful to Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, for his presence at the conference and his contribution to it. We should also like to thank Kenneth Haynes, Peter McDonald, and John Lyon for their keynote talks, and, more generally, all those who made the confer- ence such a memorable occasion, by chairing sessions, presenting papers, or simply coming along – from across the globe. We should especially like to thank Christopher Ricks, Valentine Cunningham, and Andrew McNeil- lie. We should also both like to acknowledge the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, for funding our graduate studies in Oxford. We are grateful to Hannah Godfrey, our editor, for believing in the book from such an early stage, and to...

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