Education: Your views: Eng Lit: a history lesson

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Robert Eaglestone (Education, 'English canon fodder', 22 April) rightly points to the need for English Literature to adopt a more modern agenda.

However, his criticism of courses that concentrate upon 19th century literature does need to be justified. English Literature may well be a subject which has now adopted a "heritage" approach. However, it is also a subject with a history which cannot be ignored. Students might well be more familiar with contemporary literature but such literature draws upon a body of earlier work.

Unless this is recognised, students of English Literature are likely to come away from their courses with a very narrow and misguided conception of what the subject is.