An easy to read, fascinating story of the politics behind the poetry, followed by the poetry itself. The Story of Poetry follows the style of this classic new series, with the first half of each volume showing how poetry was as much a reflection and sometime-counterweighted reaction to the current affairs of its own times. The poetry comes alive when we see it set contextually. The Story of Poetry, Volume III: From Pope to Burns, is certain to become a classic and indispensable historical anthology, accessible and comprehensive. '[In the eighteenth century], a rural English wholesomeness survives, but only just. The wider world is one of cultural importations and studied politeness on the one hand, and aggressive xenophobia on the other. A year after Indian printed calicoes were banned because they were too popular, the novelist-to-be Daniel Defoe wrote his one famous poem, The True-Born Englishman (1701), making fun of national prejudices which threatened to impoverish English political and cultural life for years to come. The political point of his poem was rather more ingratiating, for the King of England was not English-born and the King was himself a catalyst of xenophobia...' 'If we miss out or over-simplify the eighteenth century, we misread the nineteenth and twentieth and, more to the point, we ignore some extraordinary poetry.