Launch of lifeline to English students

Tuesday 16 May 2000

A book which claims to be a “painless remedy” to the confusions of English literature will be scrutinised by its target audience when it is launched next week (Monday 22 May 2000).

Including notable Scottish, Irish and Welsh contributions, “A History of English Literature” by Professor Michael Alexander of the School of English is a close look at one of the richest and oldest literatures in the world and is written for first-year undergraduates and for the general public.

Professor Alexander believes the book will prove a valuable tool for students of English throughout the world – “Now that an outline of national history is not generally taught in schools, students arrive not knowing the story of English literature and without a chronology. Many undergraduates are not aware what English literature consists of – they know about parts of it, approaches to it or what has been said about approaches to it – but my book should act as a painless remedy to these partialities, as well as being a modest reminder and an aid to public understanding. Including discussions of major writings, the book is aimed at helping them get their bearings without tears. As there have been thirteen centuries of this stuff, it is quite a story!”

Professor Alexander has been Berry Professor of English Literature since 1985. His best known publications are his verse of Beowulf (Penguin) and his introduction to the poetry of Ezra Pound (Edinburgh University Press).

His book, which includes tables of publications and events, boxed biographies, illustrations, a detailed table of contents and an index, contains around 190,000 words on 416 large pages and costs £12.99 in paperback.

It will be launched, in association with Macmillan, at the James Thin Bookshop within the Students’ Association, St Mary’s Place, St Andrews at 5.15pm on Monday 22 May 2000. Members of the public wishing to attend should contact Barbara Dumbleton at the bookshop on telephone (01334) 462727.


NOTE TO EDITORS – You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the book launch at at the James Thin Bookshop within the Students’ Association, St Mary’s Place, St Andrews at 5.15pm on Monday 22 May 2000 when Professor Alexander will be available for interviews/photographs.

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07887 650072 or email [email protected] Ref: historyofenglish/standrews/chg/17may2000

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