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'Recovering the Amateur Tradition in Translation of Classical Literature' (Joint seminar with Centre for Early Modern Studies)

Stuart Gillespie is Reader in English at the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow

Dr Gillespie is completing a major new study with OUP, entitled Newly Recovered English Classical Translations, 1600-1800. His talk will attend to some of this material and specifically the kinds of things we can learn about wider European translation culture by recovering amateur traditions of translation. A description of the book is below: Newly Recovered English Classical Translations, 1600-1800 is a unique resource: a volume presenting for the first time a wide-ranging collection of never-before-printed English translations from ancient Greek and Latin verse and drama of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Transcribed and edited from surviving manuscripts, these translations open a window onto a period in which the full richness and diversity of engagement with classical texts through translation is only now becoming apparent. Upwards of 100 identified translators and many more anonymous writers are included, from familiar and sometimes eminent figures to the obscure and unknown. Since very few of them expected their work to be printed, these translators often felt free to experiment, innovate, or subvert established norms. Their productions thus shed new light on how their source texts could be read. As English verse they hold their ground remarkably well against the printed translations of the time, and regularly surpass them.

Event details


Streatham Court Old B