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412 LETTERS IN CANADA 1979 64-5) relies on a view of the play which denies the reader/viewer his nearly omniscient perspective on events. And some readers will resist any discussion of an author's belief in his images. But Grant's argument is generally convincing, and often his readings are quite illuminating. His analysis of Book I of The Faerie Queene in terms of the effecrus passionis is new and exciting, and his discussion of the influence of the Capucins on Crashaw finally gives the poet a meditative tradition of his own. The view of Miranda as a caritas figure giving meaning to nature is also provocative, and makes me wish that Grant had tackled the question of Marvell's belief in his images through a similar figure, Maria Fairfax. It is not every scholar who makes his reader wish for more. (WYMAN H. HERENDEEN) Millar MacLure, editor. Marlowe: The Critical Heritage, 1588- 1896 Routledge & Kegan Paul. xiv, 20? $27.95 Anthologies invite the reviewer to ask: 'Why this and not that?' This sometimes leads to the reviewer's anthology being offered as a criticism of the one in his hands. My own survey of Marlowe's critical heritage to 1896 might well have included pieces not found in Professor MacLure's, but I can only hope that it would have matched his wide and entertaining selection. In my vocabulary both adjectives are words of praise. The dust jacket, that fatal lure to reviewers, for once speaks true, and with a tone of the editor: Professor MacLure traces the growth of Marlowe's reputation, beginning with contemporary comments byGreen, Kyd and Peele, and covering the period up to the early years of the twentieth century. He reproduces the usual allusions and brief comments which precede the work of the eighteenth-century scholars and editors, but the bulk of the material belongs to the Romantic and Victorian periods, and he directs much light on the scholarship and critical attitudes of men of letters in that time. There are extracts from the writings of Lamb, Hazlitt, Dowden, Bradley, Symonds, Swinburne and many others. In the Introduction, Professor MacLure places this selection of critical excerpts in the Marlowe tradition, and in the history of changing tastes and critical approaches. This note neglects to say that the introduction, which includes exclusions as well as inclusions in its urbane survey, is itself a valuable addition to the critical heritage of Marlowe. The tone of this essay carries over into the epitaph/epigraphs which he supplies his critics. What a world of essay-marking informs this on Courthope's A History of English Poetry: 'still widely read, being rich in generalizations useful in writing undergraduate essays' (p "95)' The persisting generalization in the heritage is the struggle between life and art. Amid the virtual anonymity of so many of his contemporaries, Marlowe's life and his notorious death could not be ignored. Even when moral outrage was predominant his art could not be set aside. In the upshot it was his art that regularly commanded admiration, beginning with that rarest of tributes from Shakespeare himself. His humour always 'gave rise to concern.' It was what Bradley, as usual a clear voice, called 'broad and boyish outbreaks of unseemly but undeniable fun' (p 182). 'Fun' is always an awkward word for the scholar and the critic. Surely Marlowe could not have meant - or written - such stuff? It is a dark thought, but on the stage the humour works: 'Carry on Faustus' is not to every critic's taste, but there is humour, however uneasily it is recognized. Following the course of humour in this heritage is one of the delights it offers, one of several trains of taste that run through the whole period covered by the heritage. MacLure wisely includes reviews of performances where he can. Kean's 'Jew of Malta' provides a fine set of reactions. The play was tom apart, reassembled to suit Kean's art, MacLure tells us. One critic is aware of this and comments upon the special effects won by two of the changes (p 72), but he is much offended by the effect Kean wins with the song (p...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 412-413
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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