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on 4 May 2013
This is my go-to text not only for new students but also for any of my friends who are interesting just what "doing English" entails. I agree with many of the other positive reviews on here and think that confusion of purposes is likely at the root of the more negative opinions. Yes, this is a book aimed at British undergrad or potentially-undergrad (ie. A levels, etc) students and so will not be appropriate to other national education systems (yes, even the American and other English speaking societies) nor does it aim to uncover any new essential truths to already established academics. What I do believe this book does fantastically, however, is position the student within a history of study that is constantly shifting and evolving.

Eaglestone locates the historical origins of the study of English Literature in the attempt to instill English values upon the people of the Indian subcontinent. After failing to convert the Indians to Christianity (turns out people don't take too kindly to that), the great English novels were considered a less controversial way to "civilise" the people of that plundered nation. Following the Great War, Britain needed to replace its "officer class" and so needed, in essence, to "civilise" its own working class who didn't have the Latin and Greek to read the classics. Thus, English Literature came to Britain. This introduction about hegemony, ideology, and the use of culture to shape nations is a great way of outlining the many and varied approaches to literature that have come since within the British academy. As a result, one feels that by "Doing English" you are very much part of an ongoing conflict about what values we should hold and how society should be shaped. Although straightforward and accessible, Eaglestone's prose is marked by this vitality and earnestness which really conveys a sense of why it matters. It is this enthusiasm which, I argue, is of absolute importance for a student's success. When you feel you have a stake in it, the required efforts will follow.

Thoroughly recommended to those thinking of Doing English themselves, and even more to those with the near-impossible job of teaching it. Also a fantastic read for those sick of our contemporary philistinism which questions why anything outside of direct fiscal reward matters.
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on 27 February 2000
I found this book to be a straightforward guide to literary criticism. It is a good basis for the breech between A-Level and first year English degree study. As a second year English student I found that it offered me the best starting point to understanding the complicated aspects of literary criticism.
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on 22 February 2000
Eaglestone's Doing English promises much in presenting an introduction to students embarking on University study of English language and literature, yet ultimately delivers very little. While there is an obvious realisation on the authors part form the very outset that the text will provide little more than a very rough outline to the subject, the final product goes little further than the small summaries given at the end of tghe chapter. The only piece of truly thought-provoking information comes when the student follows the guide to 'Further Reading'; this short and shallow book offers never more than a glimpse of the issues such as the history of the language, what our preconceptions of study are, and possible methods of challenging those assumptions. Critical topics such as why and how we study are glossed over in a wash of petty, obvious and vague diagrams which add nothing to the text and simply serve to remind the reader of how lacking in depth the book is...Scraping the surface with overarching arguments on issues that are actually much more complex than the author would wish them to appear is NOT the same as providing an introduction to a topic. No recommendations here; for this kind of guide in a more astute form, see The English Studies Book. Trust me, 'Doing English' in reality is much more worthwhile and fun than this book reflects.
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on 13 January 2015
The expected delivery date wasn't accurate at all, I had to wait an additional two weeks. It is essential that course literature arrives on time, thus the low score. When it comes to quality there were no issues with the book, it well met my expectations.
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on 30 August 2015
The book is in very good condition. There are some notes made by pencil but I am fine with that. I bought this for a part-time English Literature course. This book is quite helpful.
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on 4 January 2017
Brilliant. I wish this book had been written when I was doing my A' levels.
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on 28 May 2017
Very helpful book
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on 15 August 2016
Buy it!! it is a very helpful guide.
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on 18 July 2016
Excellent overview of university English.
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on 11 September 2012
Thankfully I don't need to read this book! I bought this for my daughter who is off to Uni on Saturday. I needed quick delivery and your delivery was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! I am a very happy Customer! Thank You Millions.
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