This collection of essays, to be followed by a companion volume on the classics of American cultural criticism, traces the historical development of cultural criticism in Britain from the early eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century. It devotes separate essays to representative cultural critics whose work is surveyed by scholars from America, Britain and Germany. It ranges from Augustan writers like Swift and Pope through the tradition of British cultural criticism canonized by Raymond Wiliams' seminal
Culture and Society. It will be followed by a sequel,
Contemporaries in Cultural Criticism, where an overview of the concerns of the immediate present will be attempted.
Contributions by Michael Gassenmeier, Dietmar Schloss, Ingrid von Rosenberg, Nigel Leask, Bernd-Peter Lange, David Lathem, Felix Semmelroth, Wolfgang Wicht, Irmgard Maaßen, Rüdiger Hillgärtner, David Margolies, Jürgen Kramer and Christoph Bode.