The plagiarism allegation in English literature from Butler to Sterne

Richard Terry

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Contributing to the growth of plagiarism studies, this timely new book examines the incidence of allegations of plagiarism in English Literature between Butler and Sterne. A distinctive element of the work is its stress on how occurrences of plagiarism are invariably brought to light by the casting of an aspersion, and the book sees such aspersions as a largely perennial form of detraction amongst authors. Yet the exact purport of the accusation can never be taken for granted. Terry's study explores why such allegations came to be made, what forms and degrees of literary wrongdoing counted as plagiarism, and how the understanding of the offence changed in the century or so following the Restoration. In particular, he argues that the idea of plagiarism was constantly worked upon by the boundary-pressure exerted by a range of neighbouring or antithetical concepts, such as originality or the notion of literary 'sufficiency'. This study also documents the impact of the allegation on the working lives of some of the major writers of the period.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
ISBN (Print)9780230272675
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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