This essay reflects on the critical fortunes of Restoration panegyric. It argues that while panegyric literature held a prominent position in Restoration and eighteenth-century culture, its features—especially its frequent use of figures like apostrophe and prosopopoeia—have made it particularly ill suited to surviving the modern age of scholarship. Simply put, we find panegyrics embarrassing—and that embarrassment has prevented us from engaging with one of the central modes of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century literary culture.

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