Geoffrey Hill is University Professor at Boston University. He holds an honorary D. Litt. from the University of Leeds and is an Honorary Fellow of both Keble College, Oxford and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Amongst many other recognitions of his work as a poet, he has received the Hawthornden Prize and the Whitbread Award. He gave the Clark Lectures, on which this book is based, in 1986. The Enemy's Country is concerned with the ways in which judgement is conveyed through language, and with the difficulty of clearing the terms of judgement not from but
for the pressures of circumstance so that what is said may be fitting.
Dryden is at the centre of the book. Around his exemplary figure, Geoffrey Hill describes with biting erudition and minutely sympathetic imagination the perplexities and felicity of genius in writers such as Donne, Hobbes, and Marvell. The book closes with a study of Pound's 'Envoi:1919' in which Hill, characteristically, brings together humour, scrupulousness, and enquiring commitment to the hopes of poetry. The Enemy's Country enacts 'virtue's struggle to clear and maintain its own meaning amid the commonplace approximation, the common practice of men'.
The book, bound in dark blue cloth with gilt lettering and OUP symbol on the spine, is as new. The spine of the jacket, in red/brown and black with white lettering, has faded to grey. It is complete but has de-lamination of the bottom corner and minor wear and de-lamination at the top of the spine.