This volume is the first to appear of the planned five-volume Oxford History of Classical Receptionin English Literature (OHCREL). It covers the period 1660–1790; still to come are volumes 1 (800–1558), 2 (1558–1660), 4 (1790–1880), and 5 (after 1880). The present volume is edited by the series editors, David Hopkins and Charles Martindale, both of whom are professors emeriti at Bristol University and world-renowned scholars in the literature of the period and in classical reception. Thus, this collection clearly functions as the series’ flagship volume.
Hopkins and Martindale are known for their shared commitment to a hermeneutic/aesthetic approach to reception. Three main characteristics distinguish their approach from others within the field of classical reception and from the broader community of reception scholars; all three are stated as programmatic for the OHCREL project in the preface and the introduction to the present volume.