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We are delighted to announce that Volume 2 of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition was awarded the Modernist Studies Association 2015 Book Prize for an Edition, Anthology, or Essay Collection.

The Perfect Critic, 1919-1926, Volume 2 of The  Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, documents Eliot's emergence as an authoritative and commanding critical voice in twentieth-century letters. The essays and reviews in this volume, most of which were never republished or collected after their first appearances in periodicals, trace the swift and astonishing arc of his rise to international prominence as an incisive critic of literature and culture, an avant-garde poet, and an editor of a successful and celebrated London journal. These seven years register the seismic shift in modern poetry that comes with the publication of The Waste Land (1922), and they witness the appearance of Eliot's first collected volume of verse, Poems, 1909-1925 (1925).

Eliot composed not less than 130 essays, reviews, and letters during this brief time, publishing in venues as various as The Athenaeum, The Times Literary Supplement, La Nouvelle Revue française, The Dial, and Vanity Fair. Such a period of intense creativity and prolific critical writing is all the more remarkable when considered against the backdrop of the extraordinary upheavals in his personal life: the unexpected deaths of his father and sister, the dismal mental and physical health of his wife Vivienne, and Eliot's own psychological breakdown and treatment. The volume features a thorough historical introduction that describes the dynamic and challenging circumstances, both personal and professional, that faced him as he began to establish his critical reputation in London literary circles and beyond.

  The Perfect Critic gathers together an impressive and widely unknown body of work, but it includes also several of Eliot's most influential and enduring essays—“Tradition and the Individual Talent,” “Hamlet,” “The Metaphysical Poets,” and “Ulysses, Order, and Myth”—now edited and annotated by Anthony Cuda and Ronald Schuchard. These magisterial early works furnish us with the signal concepts and phrases that have made Eliot's criticism a permanent feature of monographs, syllabi, and anthologies, including the “extinction of personality,” the “objective correlative,” the “dissociation of sensibility,” and the “mythical method.”

  The Perfect Critic includes a previously unpublished essay, “A Neglected Aspect of Chapman,” as well as the contents of two influential prose volumes published during the period, The Sacred Wood (1920) and Homage to John Dryden (1924). It also contains newly edited versions of the eight Clark Lectures that Eliot delivered in 1926 for the prestigious series at Trinity College, Cambridge.

  Anthony Cuda, associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, is the author of The Passions of Modernism: Eliot, Yeats, Woolf and Mann (2010). He has published articles on Eliot, Yeats, and Heaney, and his reviews of contemporary poetry have appeared in The Washington Post Book World, The New Criterion, FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the T. S. Eliot Society and a regular lecturer at the T. S. Eliot International Summer School. 

Ronald Schuchard, the Goodrich C. White Professor of English, Emeritus, at Emory University, is the author of award-winning Eliot's Dark Angel (1999) and The Last Minstrels: Yeats and the Revival of the Bardic Arts (2008). The editor of Eliot's Clark and Turnbull lectures, The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry (1993), he is co-editor with John Kelly of The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats, Volume 3 (1994), Volume 4 (2005), winner of the MLA's Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters, and Volume 5 (forthcoming). A former Guggenheim fellow and founder-director of the T. S. Eliot International Summer School (2009-2013), he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-xii
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  1. The Perfect Critic, 1919-1926: Introduction
  2. pp. xiii-xlii
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  1. Editorial Procedures and Principles
  2. pp. xliii-l
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. li-liv
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  1. List of Abbreviations
  2. pp. lv-lviii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. lix-lxii
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  1. Marivaux
  2. pp. 1-9
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  1. The Post-Georgians. A review of Wheels: A Third Cycle, ed. Edith Sitwell
  2. pp. 16-20
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  1. American Literature. A review of A History of American Literature, vol. II, ed. William P. Trent et al.
  2. pp. 21-25
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  1. A Romantic Aristocra
  2. pp. 26-32
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  1. Kipling Redivivus. A review of The Years Between, by Rudyard Kipling
  2. pp. 33-39
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  1. Kipling Redivivus. To the Editor of The Athenaeum
  2. pp. 40-40
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  1. A Sceptical Patrician. A review of The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography
  2. pp. 41-47
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  1. Beyle and Balzac. A review of A History of the French Novel, to the Close of the Nineteenth Century, vol. II, by George Saintsbury
  2. pp. 48-53
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  1. Criticism in England. A review of Old and New Masters, by Robert Lynd
  2. pp. 54-59
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  1. The Education of Taste. A review of English Literature during the Last Half-Century, by J. W. Cunliffe
  2. pp. 60-65
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  1. A Foreign Mind. A review of The Cutting of an Agate, by W. B. Yeats
  2. pp. 72-76
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  1. The Romantic Generation, If It Existed. A review of Currents and Eddies in the English Romantic Generation, by Frederick E. Pierce
  2. pp. 77-82
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  1. “Rhetoric” and Poetic Drama
  2. pp. 83-91
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  1. Was There a Scottish Literature? A review of Scottish Literature: Character and Influence, by G. Gregory Smith
  2. pp. 92-96
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  1. Christopher Marlowe
  2. pp. 97-104
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  1. Tradition and the Individual Talent
  2. pp. 105-114
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  1. Swinburne as Critic
  2. pp. 115-121
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  1. Hamlet
  2. pp. 122-128
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  1. Murmuring of Innumerable Bees. An unsigned review of Coterie: An Illustrated Quarterly, 2 (Sept 1919). Pp. 64.
  2. pp. 129-131
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  1. War-paint and Feathers. A review of The Path on the Rainbow: An Anthology of Songs and Chants from the Indians of North America, ed. George W. Cronyn
  2. pp. 137-140
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  1. The Method of Mr. Pound. A review of Quia Pauper Amavi, by Ezra Pound
  2. pp. 141-146
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  1. Our Inaccessible Heritage. To the Editor of The Athenaeum
  2. pp. 147-148
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  1. Mr. Pound and His Poetry. To the Editor of The Athenaeum
  2. pp. 149-149
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  1. Ben Jonson
  2. pp. 150-164
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  1. The Preacher as Artist. A review of Donne’s Sermons: Selected Passages, ed. Logan Pearsall Smith
  2. pp. 165-169
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  1. The Duchess of Malfi at the Lyric: and Poetic Drama
  2. pp. 170-175
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  1. The Local Flavour
  2. pp. 176-180
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  1. Swinburne as Poet
  2. pp. 181-186
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  1. William Blake
  2. pp. 187-192
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  1. The Phoenix Society. To the Editor of The Athenaeum
  2. pp. 193-194
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  1. Euripides and Professor Murray
  2. pp. 195-201
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  1. A Brief Treatise on the Criticism of Poetry
  2. pp. 202-211
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  1. Modern Tendencies in Poetry
  2. pp. 212-225
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  1. Dante
  2. pp. 226-237
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  1. The Criticism of Poetry. To the Editor of the TLS
  2. pp. 238-239
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  1. The Poetic Drama. A review of Cinnamon and Angelica: A Play, by John Middleton Murry
  2. pp. 240-243
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  1. Philip Massinger
  2. pp. 244-259
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  1. Artists and Men of Genius. To the Editor of The Athenaeum
  2. pp. 260-261
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  1. The Perfect Critic
  2. pp. 262-272
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  1. The Perfect Critic. To the Editor of The Athenaeum
  2. pp. 273-274
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  1. A French Romantic. To the Editor of the TLS
  2. pp. 275-277
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  1. The Possibility of a Poetic Drama
  2. pp. 278-285
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  1. A Note on the American Critic
  2. pp. 286-290
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  1. The French Intelligence
  2. pp. 291-293
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  1. Introduction. The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism
  2. pp. 294-299
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  1. Autobiographical Note. Harvard College Class of 1910, Secretary’s Fourth Report
  2. pp. 300-301
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  1. The Romantic Englishman, the Comic Spirit, and the Function of Criticism
  2. pp. 302-305
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  1. The Lesson of Baudelaire
  2. pp. 306-308
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  1. Andrew Marvell
  2. pp. 309-323
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  1. Prose and Verse
  2. pp. 324-332
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  1. London Letter: March, 1921
  2. pp. 333-340
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  1. London Letter: May, 1921
  2. pp. 341-349
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  1. John Dryden
  2. pp. 350-361
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  1. London Letter: July, 1921
  2. pp. 362-368
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  1. London Letter: September, 1921
  2. pp. 369-374
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  1. The Metaphysical Poets
  2. pp. 375-385
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  1. The Metaphysical Poets. To the Editor of the TLS
  2. pp. 386-387
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  1. Poets and Anthologies. To the Editor of the TLS
  2. pp. 388-389
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  1. The Three Provincialities
  2. pp. 390-393
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  1. London Letter: April, 1922
  2. pp. 394-398
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  1. Lettre d’Angleterre (May 1922)
  2. pp. 399-405
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  1. London Letter: June, 1922
  2. pp. 406-410
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  1. London Letter: August, 1922
  2. pp. 411-415
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  1. To the Editor of The Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury
  2. pp. 416-417
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  1. Marie Lloyd
  2. pp. 418-423
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  1. Lettre d’Angleterre: Le style dans la prose anglaise contemporaine (Dec 1922)
  2. pp. 424-429
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  1. To the Editor of The Daily Mail
  2. pp. 430-431
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  1. To the Literary Editor of The Chicago Daily News
  2. pp. 432-432
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  1. Dramatis Personae
  2. pp. 433-437
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  1. To the Literary Editor of The Globe and Commercial Advertiser
  2. pp. 438-439
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  1. John Donne. A review of Love Poems of John Donne
  2. pp. 440-444
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  1. Ben Jonson. To the Editor of The Nation and the Athenaeum
  2. pp. 445-445
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  1. The Function of a Literary Review
  2. pp. 446-447
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  1. Contemporary English Prose. A Discussion of the Development of English Prose from Hobbes and Sir Thomas Browne to Joyce and D. H. Lawrence
  2. pp. 448-454
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  1. Andrew Marvell. A review of Miscellaneous Poems, by Andrew Marvell
  2. pp. 455-457
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  1. The Function of Criticism
  2. pp. 458-468
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  1. The Classics in France – and in England
  2. pp. 469-470
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  1. Ulysses, Order, and Myth. A review of Ulysses, by James Joyce
  2. pp. 476-481
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  1. A Preface to Modern Literature: Being a Conspectus, Chiefly of English Poetry, Addressed to an Intelligent and Inquiring Foreigner
  2. pp. 482-488
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  1. Lettre d’Angleterre (Nov 1923)
  2. pp. 489-494
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  1. Marianne Moore. A review of Poems and Marriage, by Marianne Moore
  2. pp. 495-499
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  1. To the Editor of The Transatlantic Review
  2. pp. 500-502
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  1. Four Elizabethan Dramatists: A Preface to an Unwritten Book
  2. pp. 503-512
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  1. A Prediction in Regard to Three English Authors: Writers Who, Though Masters of Thought, are Likewise Masters of Art
  2. pp. 513-520
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  1. A Commentary (Apr 1924)
  2. pp. 521-528
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  1. A Commentary (July 1924)
  2. pp. 529-535
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  1. An untitled review of The Growth of Civilization and The Origin of Magic and Religion, by W. J. Perry
  2. pp. 536-538
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  1. A Commentary (Oct 1924)
  2. pp. 539-545
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  1. Preface to Homage to John Dryden: Three Essays on Poetry of the Seventeenth Century
  2. pp. 546-547
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  1. A Neglected Aspect of Chapman
  2. pp. 548-558
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  1. A Commentary (Jan 1925)
  2. pp. 567-571
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  1. On the Eve: A Dialogue [with Vivien Eliot]
  2. pp. 572-575
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  1. A Commentary (Apr 1925)
  2. pp. 576-580
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  1. Rencontre
  2. pp. 585-588
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  1. Why Rural Verse. A review of Spring Thunder and Other Poems, by Mark Van Doren
  2. pp. 589-591
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  1. Autobiographical Note. Harvard College Class of 1910, Quindecennial Report
  2. pp. 592-592
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  1. English Satire. An unsigned review of English Satire and Satirists, by Hugh Walker
  2. pp. 593-595
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  1. An Italian Critic on Donne and Crashaw. An unsigned review of Secentismo e marinismo in Inghilterra: John Donne – Richard Crashaw, by Mario Praz
  2. pp. 596-599
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  1. Shakespeare and Montaigne. An unsigned review of Shakspeare’s Debt to Montaigne, by George Coffin Taylor
  2. pp. 600-602
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  1. Wanley and Chapman. An unsigned review of Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association, vol. XI, collected by Oliver Elton
  2. pp. 603-608
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  1. The Clark Lectures: Lectures on the Metaphysical Poetry of the Seventeenth Century with Special Reference to Donne, Crashaw and Cowley
  2. p. 609
  1. [Author's Preface] / Lecture I: Introduction: On the Definition of Metaphysical Poetry
  2. p. 609
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  1. Lecture II: Donne and the Middle Ages
  2. pp. 628-647
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  1. Lecture III: Donne and the Trecento
  2. pp. 648-668
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  1. Lecture IV: The Conceit in Donne
  2. pp. 669-685
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  1. Lecture V: Donne’s Longer Poems
  2. pp. 686-704
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  1. Lecture VI: Crashaw
  2. pp. 705-724
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  1. Lecture VII: Cowley and the Transition
  2. pp. 725-741
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  1. Lecture VIII: The Nineteenth Century
  2. pp. 742-759
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  1. Textual Notes
  2. pp. 759-761
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  1. The Idea of a Literary Review
  2. pp. 762-767
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  1. A Popular Shakespeare. An unsigned review of The Works of Shakespeare, vols. I-III. Introductions by Charles Whibley
  2. pp. 768-770
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  1. Introduction to Savonarola: A Dramatic Poem, by Charlotte Eliot
  2. pp. 771-776
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  1. A Commentary (Apr 1926)
  2. pp. 777-780
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  1. Mr. Robertson and Mr. Shaw. A review of Mr. Shaw and “The Maid,” by J. M. Robertson
  2. pp. 781-782
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  1. An untitled review of All God’s Chillun Got Wings (with Desire under the Elms and Welded), by Eugene O’Neill
  2. pp. 783-784
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  1. A Commentary (June 1926)
  2. pp. 785-789
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  1. English Verse Satire. An unsigned review of A Book of English Verse Satire, ed. A. G. Barnes
  2. pp. 790-794
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  1. The Influence of Ovid. An unsigned review of Ovid and his Influence, by Edward Kennard Rand
  2. pp. 795-796
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  1. The Author of “The Burning Babe.” An unsigned review of The Book of Robert Southwell, by Christobel M. Hood
  2. pp. 797-800
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  1. Plague Pamphlets. An unsigned review of The Plague Pamphlets of Thomas Dekker, ed. F. P. Wilson
  2. pp. 801-804
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  1. Creative Criticism. An unsigned review of Creative Criticism: Essays on the Unity of Genius and Taste, by J. E. Spingarn
  2. pp. 805-806
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  1. Chaucer’s “Troilus.” An unsigned review of The Book of Troilus and Criseyde, by Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Robert Kilburn Root
  2. pp. 807-811
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  1. Lancelot Andrewes
  2. pp. 817-829
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  1. A Commentary (Oct 1926)
  2. pp. 830-833
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  1. Mr. Read and M. Fernandez. A review of Reason and Romanticism: Essays in Literary Criticism, by Herbert Read; and Messages, by Ramon Fernandez
  2. pp. 834-842
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  1. Note sur Mallarmé et Poe
  2. pp. 843-847
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  1. More and Tudor Drama. An unsigned review of Early Tudor Drama: Medwall, the Rastells, Heywood, and the More Circle, by A. W. Reed
  2. pp. 856-859
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  1. Sir John Davies
  2. pp. 860-867
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  1. Early Tudor Drama. To the Editor of the TLS
  2. pp. 868-869
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  1. Medieval Philosophy. An unsigned review of History of Mediaeval Philosophy, by Maurice De Wulf
  2. pp. 870-873
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  1. Mr. J. M. Robertson and Shakespeare. To the Editor of The Nation and the Athenaeum
  2. pp. 874-875
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  1. Whitman and Tennyson. A review of Whitman: An Interpretation in Narrative, by Emory Holloway
  2. pp. 876-880
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 881-896
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  1. Image Plates
  2. pp. 897-928
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  1. Errata
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421412955
Print ISBN
9781421406770
MARC Record
OCLC
882598329
Pages
992
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-03
Language
English
Open Access
N
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