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Crusoe’s Secret

Tom Paulin

Crusoe’s Secret: The Aesthetics of Dissent by Tom Paulin is an illuminating collection of essays on major authors and texts from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, centering on the culture of dissent.

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Comprised of pieces spanning five centuries, Crusoe’s Secret explores the culture of English dissent, whether through canonical works – Paradise Lost, Robinson Crusoe, Clarissa – or moving between epic and novel, lyric, tract and drama. Tom Paulin engages with the great dissenting voices from Bunyan to D. H. Lawrence, and he casts new light on others – such as Clare or Kipling or Hopkins – whose work was touched by dissent. Crusoe’s Secret confirms Tom Paulin’s status as an exemplary reader, who brilliantly marries historical context and critical readings.


Tom Paulin was born in Leeds in 1949 but grew up in Belfast, and was educated at the universities of Hull and Oxford. He has published nine collections of poetry as well as a Selected Poems 1972-1990, two major anthologies, two versions of Greek drama, and several critical works, including The Day-Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt’s Radical Style and, most…

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