Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-xii

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Literature, Politics, Belief, 1927-1929. Introduction

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pp. xiii-xlii

In June 1927, at the age of thirty-nine, T. S. Eliot was baptized and confirmed in the Church of England; in November he became a naturalized British citizen. These momentous acts resonate through his prose of 1927 to 1929, the years covered by this volume. Even as he continued to write on...

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Editorial Procedures and Principles

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pp. xliii-l

Eliot’s uncollected prose makes up the vast majority of the writings published in his lifetime and spans the period from his stories in the Smith Academy Record in 1905 to his final autobiographical note for the Harvard College Class of 1910: Fifty-fifth Anniversary Report, contributed in late December...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. li-liv

Our greatest debt is to the late Valerie Eliot, for her tireless devotion over many years to collecting, preserving, and ordering her husband’s multiform writings, and for her confidence and trust in commissioning The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Editio. We are also indebted to her personal...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. lv-lviii

List of Illustrations

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pp. lix-lxii

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Autobiographical Entry for Who’s Who 1927

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pp. 1-1

ELIOT, Thomas Stearns, M.A.; Editor, The New Criterion; Director, Faber and Gwyer, Ltd.; b. 1888; y.s. of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Chauncey Eliot of St. Louis, U.S.A.; m. Vivien, d. of Charles Haigh Haigh- Wood. Educ.: Harvard University; the Sorbonne; Merton College, Oxford...

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A Commentary (Jan 1927)

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pp. 2-7

With this number The Criterion begins the second year of its existence as The New Criterion. A year ago we published a statement of “The Idea of a Literary Review.”¹ To many readers The New Criterion, in its first year, may seem to have fallen far short of that idea. But a literary review cannot be...

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Grammar and Usage. A review of Modern English Usage, by H. W. Fowler; The Philosophy of Grammar, by Otto Jespersen; A Grammar of Late Modern English, by H. Poutsma; and Le Langage, by J. Vendryes

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pp. 8-12

A question raised and debated from time to time, and always dropped without any conclusion having been reached, is the question of the kind of education necessary or desirable for the acquisition of a good English style. Appeal is usually made to the evidence of “great writers,” but such appeal is never satisfactory...

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Homage to Wilkie Collins: An omnibus review of nine mystery novels

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pp. 13-17

During the last year or two the output of detective fiction has increased rapidly. I presume that detective fiction is successful, with a rising demand; otherwise one or two such thrillers would not appear on nearly every publisher’s list. It might be interesting to speculate on the reasons for this...

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A Note on Poetry and Belief

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pp. 18-21

In an essay of very great interest published in The Criterion for July, 1925, I. A. Richards did me the honour of employing one of my poems as evidence on behalf of a theory he was there expounding.¹ He observed, in a footnote, that the author in question, “by effecting a complete separation...

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The Phoenix Nest. An unsigned review of The Phoenix Nest, Reprinted from the Original Edition of 1593, ed. Frederick Etchells and Hugh Macdonald

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pp. 22-24

The Haslewood Press (Frederick Etchells and Hugh Macdonald), which has already published Englands Helicon, has now issued another and less-known Elizabethan anthology.² Mr. Hugh Macdonald, in his careful introduction, observes that “the contents . . . are less varied in style than those of...

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Charleston, Hey! Hey! A review of The Future of Futurism, by John Rodker; Composition as Explanation, by Gertrude Stein; Pomona: or the Future of English, by Basil de Sélincourt; and Catchwords and Claptrap, by Rose Mac

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pp. 25-29

To be interested in “the future” is a symptom of demoralization and debility. Messrs. Kegan Paul are to be commended for instituting a series of little books which fully exposes this contemporary weakness. We are, at least officially, prohibited from consulting the oracles, and from having our...

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The Sources of Chapman. An unsigned review of Études sur l’humanisme continental en Angleterre à la fin de la Renaissance by Franck L. Schoell

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pp. 30-35

The author of this essay is, we imagine, an American; but his book is an admirable example of the French scholarship which, in the École Normale, and in theses of doctorate and agregation, has contributed so much in recent years to the history of English literature, and indirectly and gradually, in...

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The Problems of the Shakespeare Sonnets. A review of The Problems of the Shakespeare Sonnets, by J. M. Robertson

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pp. 36-39

Anyone with only ordinary literary knowledge of the subject, of which Mr. Robertson is one of the few experts, may be excused for adopting a somewhat more personal tone, in reviewing his book, than would be suitable from his peers. A detailed criticism of Mr. Robertson’s theories – such a...

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Epigrams of an Elizabethan Courtier. An unsigned review of The Epigrams of Sir John Harington, ed. Norman Egbert McClure

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pp. 40-43

These are the epigrams to which Charles Lamb referred when he said of Coleridge’s epigrams, “as good as Harington’s.”¹ The reader who is led by this compliment to expect brilliant wit or neat phrase from Harington will be disappointed. Even Dr. McClure,² who has produced the first edition of...

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Literature, Science, and Dogma. A review of Science and Poetry, by I. A. Richards

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pp. 44-50

Mr. I. A. Richards is both a psychologist and a student of literature; he is not a psychologist who has chosen to exercise his accomplishments at the expense of literature, nor is he a man of letters who has dabbled in psychology. One might expect, in our time, to come across numerous individuals...

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A Study of Marlowe. An unsigned review of Christopher Marlowe, by U. M. Ellis-Fermor

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pp. 51-55

In devoting a whole book – the first of its kind – to the life and work of Christopher Marlowe, Miss Ellis-Fermor has done a substantial service to the reputation of that great poet and dramatist.¹ The mere fact that there is now a book about him means a great deal, will do something to remove...

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Spinoza. An unsigned review of The Oldest Biography of Spinoza, ed. A. Wolf

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pp. 56-58

The figure of Spinoza has been almost more important in the last hundred years than the philosophy of Spinoza. Few people have mastered the Ethics, but every one knows that Spinoza polished lenses; few people have read the Tractatus Politicus, but the whole world has been impressed by his excommunication...

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A Commentary (May 1927)

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pp. 59-62

We by no means regret that The Criterion and its successor, The New Criterion, began and continued for four years as a Quarterly. It was part of the original programme, in 1922, to revive some of the characteristics of the quarterly reviews of a hundred years ago, which had languished in this century...

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Popular Theologians: Mr. Wells, Mr. Belloc and Mr. Murry

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pp. 63-70

This is sometimes called the age of the specialist; it is also the age of the brilliant and voluble amateur. In some sciences, as mathematics and physics, the specialist is highly respected; in some, as in anthropology, it is difficult for the outsider always to distinguish between the specialist and the...

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Baudelaire in our Time

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pp. 71-82

Mr. Symons has made a good translation, in the Symons style.² If our point of view to-day was the point of view of thirty years ago, or even of twenty years ago, we should call it a good translation. To read Mr. Symons now, is to realize how great a man is Baudelaire, who can appear in such a...

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Le roman anglais contemporain. Together with the unpublished original: The Contemporary Novel

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pp. 83-94

Dans son petit livre sur Hawthorne, publié il y a bien des années, Henry Jam es écrit ces lignes significatives :
« Le charme (des oeuvres les moins importantes de Hawthorne) vient de ce qu’elles nous font entrevoir un grand espace, le mystère complet et profond de l’âme et de la conscience...

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Israfel. A review of Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe, by Hervey Allen; The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: The Poems and Three Essays on Poetry, ed. R. Brimley Johnson; and The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Tales, ed. R. Br

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pp. 95-99

Mr. Hervey Allen has written two large volumes, with many footnotes, illustrations, and appendices.² I have not read two or three recent books on Poe – including one by Joseph Wood Krutzsch – but it is hardly possible that any of them contains more facts than this book.³ No fact about a man...

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A Commentary (June 1927)

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pp. 100-104

It is a trait of the present time that every “literary” review worth its salt has a political interest; indeed that only in the literary reviews, which are not the conscientious organs of superannuated political creeds, are there any living political ideas. We have just received the first number of Les Derniers...

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Recent Detective Fiction. An omnibus review of sixteen detective novels and of Problems of Modern American Crime, by Veronica and Paul King

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pp. 105-109

The list above does not approach completeness with respect to the detective fiction of the last few months; but as in this time there has been nothing by either Mr. Freeman²* or Mr. Crofts,³ who seem to be our two most accomplished detective writers, I believe the list to be fairly representative...

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Tennyson and Whitman. To the Editor of The Nation and Athenaeum

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pp. 110-110

[Mr. T. S. Eliot writes:] Mr. McNulty expresses surprise at my comparison of Whitman and Tennyson.¹ May I assure him that I intended this comparison to be quite serious; and if he will look back at the earlier number of The Nation in which I reviewed a recent biography of Whitman, he will see...

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Niccolò Machiavelli

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pp. 111-121

“Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowards, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely.”² This sentence, and similar sentences torn from their context, have rankled and worried the minds of men for four hundred years: the words...

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Thomas Middleton

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pp. 122-132

Thomas Middleton, the dramatic writer, was not very highly thought of in his own time; the date of his death is not known; we know only that he was buried on July 4, 1627.² He was one of the more voluminous, and one of the best, dramatic writers of his time. But it is easy to understand why he...

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A Commentary (July 1927)

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pp. 133-135

We have received a small pamphlet published in Paris by the League of Nations, and entitled: The International Institute for Intellectual Co-operation.¹ This Institute, which is housed not in Geneva but in the Palais Royal in Paris, appears to be a department of the League. The pamphlet is...

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Political Theorists. An omnibus review of A Defence of Conservatism by Anthony M. Ludovici; The Outline of Sanity, by G. K. Chesterton; The Servile State, by Hilaire Belloc; The Conditions of Industrial Peace, by J. A.

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pp. 136-142

These five books deserve to be reviewed together. Each is the work of a person or person seriously concerned with the political and economic anarchy of the present time; each is written from a different point of view. Whoever is interested by one of these books ought to read the others. The authors...

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John Bramhall

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pp. 143-151

John Bramhall, Bishop of Derry under Charles I and Primate of Ireland under Charles II, is not at all an easy subject for a biography.² He was a great man; but either by defect of genius or by ill-luck he is not known as he should be known, and his works are not read as they should be read. Indeed...

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Plays of Ben Jonson

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pp. 152-155

The appearance of Volume I (the Introduction) of this magnificent Herford and Simpson edition of Jonson was noticed everywhere with the applause that it deserved.¹ For any but an audience of highly trained specialists there is less matter for discussion in the subsequent volumes containing the plays...

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A Commentary (Aug 1927)

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pp. 156-159

Nine years after the end of the War we are only beginning to distinguish between the characteristics of our own time and those inherited from the previous epoch. One of the latter was Nationalism. We have been for nine years reminded, by the facts and fancies of the press, of the growth of the...

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Why Mr. Russell Is a Christian. A review of Why I Am Not a Christian, by the Hon. Bertrand Russell

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pp. 160-163

Mr. Russell can write extremely well, and usually does write well, except when carried away by emotion. This little essay – a lecture delivered at the Battersea Town Hall² – has all of Mr. Russell’s usual merit of lucidity and straightforwardness, and in addition a kind of briskness which gives charm...

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Wilkie Collins and Dickens

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pp. 164-174

It is to be hoped that some scholarly and philosophic critic of the present generation may be inspired to write a book on the history and aesthetic of melodrama. The golden age of melodrama passed, it is true, before any person living was aware of its existence: in the very middle of the last century...

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The Twelfth Century. An unsigned review of The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, by Charles Homer Haskins

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pp. 175-178

Professor Haskins – who, incidentally, has been Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Harvard University – is not only a well-known specialist in medieval history, but has had long experience in lecturing to young undergraduates unacquainted with his subject.¹ We have the right to...

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To the Editor of the New York Evening Post

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pp. 179-181

Owing to the generous activities of Miss Sylvia Beach and others, the affair of Mr. Samuel Roth and his serial publication of Ulysses has already received some publicity.² But I feel such a matter can only be effectively dealt with if it is continually kept before the public eye; and I have just...

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An unsigned review of The Playgoers’ Handbook to the English Renaissance Drama, by Agnes Mure Mackenzie

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pp. 182-184

Miss Mure Mackenzie’s purpose is apparently to make the Elizabethan drama, besides Shakespeare, understanded of the people.¹ Her book is a summary account and criticism of the chief Elizabethan dramatists and their more important plays, with a chapter of hints on how they should be...

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A Commentary (Sept 1927)

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pp. 185-189

In a letter published in this issue, and in an editorial note in The Calendar, Mr. Bertram Higgins and Mr. D. R. Garman respectively take up a point raised in our June number.¹ While these contributions do not seem to go very far toward clearing up the issues, it is a good thing that interest should...

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The Silurist. A review of On the Poems of Henry Vaughan: Characteristics and Intimations, by Edmund Blunden

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pp. 190-194

Mr. Edmund Blunden is very well known as the poet of certain parts of rural England. This little essay on Vaughan ought to interest everyone who likes Mr. Blunden’s poetry. For Mr. Blunden feels warm sympathy towards Vaughan, and makes the reader feel that Blunden and Vaughan really have...

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Seneca in Elizabethan Translation

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pp. 195-234

No author exercised a wider or deeper influence upon the Elizabethan mind or upon the Elizabethan form of tragedy than did Seneca. To present the Elizabethan translations of the tragedies in their proper setting, it is necessary to deal with three problems which at first may appear to be but slightly...

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Richard Edwards. An unsigned review of The Life and Times of Richard Edwards, by Leicester Bradner

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pp. 235-238

Whenever we feel inclined to quarrel with The Oxford Book of English Verse, it is wise to inspect the other works of one of those very minor poets from whom Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch has taken one or two poems. About the major poets, and what selections should be made, no two persons will ever...

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The Mysticism of Blake

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pp. 239-244

If we have not yet made up our minds about Blake, we have no longer any excuse for not doing so.¹ Mr. Keynes has compressed his great edition of 1925 into one volume which is not only of convenient size, but of convenient price.² The Nonesuch Press has produced it in a form both beautiful...

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Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca

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pp. 245-260

The last few years have witnessed a number of recrudescences of Shakespeare. There is the fatigued Shakespeare, a retired Anglo-Indian, presented by Mr. Lytton Strachey;² there is the messianic Shakespeare, bringing a new philosophy and a new system of yoga, presented by Mr. Middleton Murry...

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The Return of Foxy Grandpa. An unpublished review of Science and the Modern World and Religion in the Making, by Alfred North Whitehead

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pp. 261-266

Professor Whitehead’s two recent books, Science and the Modern World and Religion in the Making, have been received with acclamation.¹ Indeed they deserve it; Dr. Whitehead has a power of lucid exposition of the most difficult subjects, great historical knowledge and ability to generalise his...

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A Commentary (Oct 1927)

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pp. 267-269

In our July number we discussed the purposes of an organization called “The International Institute for Intellectual Co-operation,” which is a side line of the League of Nations. One of the stated purposes was “the development of instruction on international questions.”¹ A more recent phase of...

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An unsigned review of The Canary Murder Case, by S. S. Van Dine

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pp. 270-270

Several months ago we praised very highly the same author’s first book, The Benson Murder Case. The Canary Murder Case is equally good.¹ It is a book to be recommended to the small, fastidious public which really discriminates between good and bad detective stories. For the guidance of...

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Mr. Middleton Murry’s Synthesis

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pp. 271-277

Referring to Mr. Murry’s extremely interesting essay (The Criterion, June, 1927) and to my own superficial note which provoked it (The Criterion, January, 1927), I shall say no more about the views of Mr. Read or Mr. Fernandez, for the reason that they can expound their own theories (which are...

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Parnassus Biceps. An unsigned review of Parnassus Biceps; or, Several Choice Pieces of Poetry 1656, ed. G. Thorn-Drury

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pp. 278-281

Most lovers of English poetry are accustomed to think of it in terms of well-defined epochs. It is well occasionally to consider the transitions – which always appear superficially to be revolutions – from one phase and style to another; so that we may recognize the unity, as well as the diversity, of English...

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Tristan da Cunha. To the Editor of The New Statesman

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pp. 282-282

SIR, – I congratulate Mr. Campbell upon his poem, “Tristan da Cunha,” in The New Statesman of to-day.² His control of the metre is remarkable, and his language stronger and less flamboyant than in some of his earlier work. The poem has a curious resemblance – not in detail, but in rhythm and in...

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A Scholar’s Essays. A review of Nine Essays, by Arthur Platt, with a preface by A. E. Housman

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pp. 283-285

John Arthur Platt was born in London in 1860, and died in Bournemouth in 1925.¹ From Harrow he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, of which college he became a Fellow, as had been his father and grandfather. He lost this Fellowship by marriage, spent several years in coaching, and finally...

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A Commentary (Nov 1927)

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pp. 286-289

The entretiens which take place every summer, for a period of several weeks, at the former Abbey of Pontigny in Burgundy, are not intended to interest the general public, but merely to profit the men of letters of various countries who meet there.¹ The proceedings are not published. But the prospectus...

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To the Editor of The Church Times

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pp. 290-292

Sir, I was glad to see, in your issue of last week, an editorial paragraph on the subject of the Action Française.¹ This affair, of the greatest moment to all French Catholics, has been ignored by English newspapers, and I am glad to see that you have not overlooked its importance.
I have followed...

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A Commentary (Dec 1927)

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pp. 293-295

A minor consequence of the doctrine of evolution – or rather, of the “time philosophy” based upon it – is an attitude of unconscious fatalism which we adopt toward many processes.¹ We are accustomed, for instance, to the belief that the English language deteriorates, and that it must deteriorate...

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To the Editor of the New York Evening Post

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pp. 296-297

Dear Sir,
With reference to the letter which I recently sent to you concerning Mr. Samuel Roth’s unauthorised publication of some of my work: I wish to inform you that I have just received from Mr. Roth’s secretary, one E. Loewenberg, a copy of a letter which Mr. Roth appears to have directed to...

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Stage Studies. An unsigned review of Pre-Restoration Stage Studies and The Physical Conditions of the Elizabethan Public Playhouse, by William J. Lawrence

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pp. 298-301

The name of Mr. W. J. Lawrence stands very high in contemporary scholarship of Elizabethan drama.¹ In the scholarship of textual criticism he has several equals, and a few superiors; but in the particular field of these two books he is easily ahead in learning, in fertility of conjecture, and in the...

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L’Action Française. To the Editor of The Church Times

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pp. 302-303

Sir, – Having just returned from abroad I saw only yesterday your issue of November 25, in which you kindly printed my letter.¹ I should be greatly obliged if you would print a correction to one sentence which, as it stands, says exactly the opposite of what I meant. I wrote: “A generation which like...

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Francis Herbert Bradley

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pp. 304-314

It is unusual that a book so famous and so influential should remain out of print so long as Bradley’s Ethical Studies. The one edition appeared in 1876: Bradley’s refusal to reprint it never wavered. In 1893, in a footnote in Appearance and Reality, and in words characteristic of the man, he wrote: “I feel...

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Mr. Chesterton (and Stevenson). A review of Robert Louis Stevenson, by G. K. Chesterton

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pp. 315-317

I admit that I have always found Mr. Chesterton’s style exasperating to the last point of endurance, though I am aware that there must be many people who like it.¹ In a chapter in this book, on “The Style of Stevenson,” Mr. Chesterton remarks: “I am one of those humble characters for whom...

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A Commentary (Jan 1928)

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pp. 318-320

There was much foolish talk in the newspapers some weeks ago, about projects of alteration – not merely of repair, but extensions and changes to Westminster Abbey.¹ Like most newspaper topics, this one was very quickly exhausted; and after a number of public men – and some very odd ones – as...

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Isolated Superiority. A review of Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound

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pp. 321-325

By publishing his “collected poems” – a collection remarkable because it represents also a rigorous selection and omission – Mr. Pound provokes us to another attempt to estimate his work.² I am doubtful whether such a valuation is, or will ever be, quite possible for our generation; but even if not, it...

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John Webster. An unsigned first review of The Complete Works of John Webster, ed. F. L. Lucas

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pp. 326-332

The only two modern editions of Webster’s plays are unsatisfactory and antiquated. Webster has waited long enough for an editor and fine edition, but he appears to have found them. To edit properly such a dramatist as Webster requires not only exact knowledge of the now vast field of...

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A Commentary (Feb 1928)

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pp. 333-336

It is regretted that owing to unforeseen circumstances we were unable to prepare the second part of M. Maurras’s “Prologue to an Essay on Criticism” in time for this issue. We expect to publish it in March, and meanwhile express our apologies to our readers and to M. Maurras.¹ We consequently present...

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An Emotional Unity. A review of Selected Letters, 1896-1924, by Baron Friedrich von Hügel, ed. with a memoir by Bernard Holland

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pp. 337-342

The late Baron von Hügel occupied, for many years, a privileged place both in society and in the world of religion. By birth he was an Austrian of Rhineland origin; but his mother belonged to a distinguished military Scotch family, and his wife was English.² He had been given an informal...

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Frenchified. To the Editor of The New Statesman

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pp. 343-344

Sir, – I did not see Mr. Turner’s article in your paper to which Mr. Desmond MacCarthy replies in a letter in your number of January 21st.¹ But I have seen Mr. MacCarthy’s letter and have endeavoured to reconstruct the relevant parts of Mr. Turner’s article from that. As Mr. MacCarthy refers twice...

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Culture and Anarchy. An unsigned first review of La Trahison des clercs, by Julien Benda

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pp. 345-350

M. Julien Benda is an author who has for a long time deserved to be better known outside of France. He is the author both of novels, and of books which may be called criticism of manners. He writes conscientiously; he writes slowly; everything that he writes is the fruit of long and patient...

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L’Action Française. To the Editor of The Church Times

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pp. 351-353

Sir, – Being a regular reader of your paper, and being in most matters wholly in sympathy, perhaps I may be permitted once again to protest against your attitude towards L’Action Française, as exhibited in your Summary paragraph of last week. I feel the greater obligation, as I believe that I am one of the...

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The Criterion. To the Editor of The New Statesman

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pp. 354-355

Sir, – I read in your issue of to-day’s date a letter about myself signed by “Alan Ebbutt.”¹ The name is unknown to me. The facts stated by Mr. Ebbutt were also unknown to me. I had always been under the illusion that the Criterion was published and printed in England; on the cover...

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Introduction to The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins

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pp. 356-363

The Moonstone is the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels. But it is something more important than that; it is the best of all the novels written by that man who among the novelists of the nineteenth century was in every way the most closely associated with Charles Dickens...

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L’Action Française. To the Editor of The Church Times

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pp. 364-365

Sir, – Your note following my letter in last week’s issue enables me to prevent a possible misunderstanding.¹ I assert merely that Charles Maurras’s political philosophy is a reasonable one, and not a gospel of militarism. It is constructed, of course, for France; but it does not require the hegemony of...

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A Commentary (Mar 1928)

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pp. 366-368

Since our last Commentary was written, Thomas Hardy has died and has been buried.¹ Whenever a great man dies, a great deal of nonsense is written; a great deal was written about Thomas Hardy; we cannot undertake here to separate the wheat from the chaff. We have only three remarks to make...

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The Action Française, M. Maurras and Mr. Ward

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pp. 369-378

Mr. Leo Ward has just brought out a small book entitled The Condemnation of the “Action Française.” Essays on this affair have recently appeared in several British periodicals; books on the subject, from one point of view or another, appear in France almost at the rate of one a week; Mr. Ward’s pamphlet is...

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A Note on Richard Crashaw

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pp. 379-384

No higher compliment can be paid to this book than to say that in editing and in production it is worthy of the fine series of seventeenth-century poets of which it is a member. Memorable in this series are Saintsbury’s “Caroline Poets” (without which Benlowes, Cleveland, and King would be almost...

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Poets’ Borrowings. An unsigned review of Shakespeare, Jonson and Wilkins as Borrowers. A Study in Elizabethan Dramatic Origins and Imitations, by Percy Allen

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pp. 385-389

Mr. Percy Allen, a dramatic critic who modestly professes no special skill in Elizabethan scholarship, has written an intelligent and interesting book which should be of service to students of Elizabethan drama, whether they accept his particular conclusions or not.¹ His subject lies slightly outside...

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Dainty Devices. An unsigned review of The Paradise of Dainty Devices (1576-1606), ed. Hyder Edward Rollins

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pp. 390-393

We have recently had the opportunity of providing our libraries with new and good editions of several Elizabethan song-books or anthologies; the Haslewood Press has given us a new edition of England’s Helicon, and The Phoenix Nest edited by Mr. Macdonald.¹ We now have a third Elizabethan...

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The Monthly Criterion. To the Editor of The Nation and Athenaeum

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pp. 394-395

Sir, – Mr. Edwin Muir, in his interesting review of Mr. Sherard Vines’s book in your issue of April 14th, speaks very amiably of what he calls “the school of criticism which is represented chiefly by The Monthly Criterion.”¹ For this we should be grateful, but I should like to forestall a possible misconception...

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A Dialogue on Dramatic Poetry. With the Original Preface

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pp. 396-412

To compete with the late W. P. Ker and Mr. Nichol Smith and other scholars by attempting a learned introduction to Dryden’s essay would be merely to commit a presumption and a superfluity.² The following method occurred to me as hitherto untried and as challenging no comparisons. Dryden composed...

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Preface to the 1928 edition of The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism

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pp. 413-415

I had intended, when the time came to prepare a second edition of this book, to revise some of the essays. I have found the task impossible, and perhaps even undesirable. For I discovered that what had happened in my own mind, in eight years, was not so much a change or reversal of opinions, as...

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A Commentary (June 1928)

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pp. 416-420

With this number The Criterion enters upon the third phase of its history; it reverts to its quarterly form; and there seems to be no reason why it should ever again be altered.¹
The return to the original form of publication was first suggested by one or two friends of the review; it was supported by...

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L’Action Française . . . A Reply to Mr. Ward

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pp. 421-424

Mr. Ward’s reply to my comments on his little book (The Condemnation of the Action Française) which I made in the March number of The Monthly Criterion has the merit of making the issue between us more precise – if also more hopeless. The matter of misquotation, or mistranslation, becomes...

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Mr. Lucas’s Webster. A second review of The Complete Works of John Webster, ed. F. L. Lucas

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pp. 425-430

Mr. Lucas’s Webster, like Simpson and Herford’s Jonson, is one of those monuments of editing which look eternal.³ It is obviously the product of many years’ labour. Scholars may be able to wrangle over a note or two, in a work so amply annotated; but I cannot conceive of justification for any...

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Parliament and the New Prayer Book. To the Editor of The New Adelphi

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pp. 431-434

Sir: I was so much interested by your admirable editorial notes in the March number of The New Adelphi that I hope you will permit me to make a few comments.
I find it a little difficult to reconcile your various statements about the Church of England. First, you say that the House of Commons...

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The Idealism of Julien Benda. A second review of La Trahison des clercs, by Julien Benda

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pp. 435-445

M. Julien Benda is a critic who does not write often or too much. His Belphégor, which some of us recognised as an almost final statement of the attitude of contemporary society to art and the artist, was published in 1918 or 1919. La Trahison des clercs is the first book of the same type that...

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The Life of Prayer. An unsigned review of Prayer and Intelligence by Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, trans. Algar Thorold

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pp. 446-448

It seems at first sight rather a pity that Mr. Thorold has translated the title La Vie d’oraison by Prayer and Intelligence, which suggests, to anyone acquainted with the nature of M. Maritain’s philosophical work, another philosophical treatise rather than a tiny book of devotional aid.¹ But there...

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The Oxford Jonson. A review of Ben Jonson, ed. C. H. Herford and Percy Simpson. Vols I, II, III

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pp. 449-453

The most conscientious reviewer would find it hard to write in anything but praise, when presented with three such sumptuous volumes as these; and should therefore rejoice to find that the scholarship and critical abilities of the editors deserve the elegance of the printing. This is as fine and as...

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The Humanism of Irving Babbitt

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pp. 454-462

It is proverbially easier to destroy than to construct; and as a corollary of this proverb, it is easier for readers to apprehend the destructive than the constructive side of an author’s thought. More than this: when a writer is skillful at destructive criticism, the public is satisfied with that. If he has no...

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Sir John Denham. An unsigned review of The Poetical Works of Sir John Denham ed. Theodore Howard Banks, Jr.

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pp. 463-466

Besides the famous “Cooper’s Hill,” there are but two or three poems of Sir John Denham that can be read with any pleasure; and even these are only just above the line at which pleasure expires. The best of Denham’s verse is not poetry; it is charming verse.¹ Yet by his place in the history of English...

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An Extempore Exhumation. A review of The Skull of Swift, by Shane Leslie

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pp. 467-469

“An extempore exhumation” is not my invention; it is Mr. Leslie’s own sub-title for his book. The book is very readable, confused and confusing; it would be easier to criticize if one knew why Mr. Leslie wrote it, and why he chose to write it in this way.¹ The “exhumation” is really a romantic biography...

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Seventeenth-Century Preachers. An unsigned review of English Preachers and Preaching: 1640-1670, by Caroline Francis Richardson

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pp. 470-472

Miss Richardson has hit upon an extremely interesting subject, and has written a book which is crowded with curious information.¹ She is not concerned with any of the great divines of the seventeenth century, nor is her book a study in theology at all. It is rather a study of the social aspects...

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A Commentary (Sept 1928)

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pp. 473-478

As we go to press, in the dull month of August, we have the reports of the suppression – or rather, the “withdrawal from circulation” – of Miss Radclyffe Hall’s novel, The Well of Loneliness. Several journals, especially The New Statesman, have spoken forcibly and well about this case; and we...

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Civilization: 1928 Model. A review of Civilization: An Essay, by Clive Bell

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pp. 479-482

Mr. Bell’s book has been ably reviewed in several places, and the excellence of the matter written about it is a token of the excellence of the book.² The book is one which would be called “provocative and stimulating”; which means that the author has dealt with questions of general interest in a lucid...

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An unsigned review of The Greene Murder Case, by S. S. Van Dine

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pp. 483-484

The celebrated Mr. “Van Dine,” about whose identity controversy rages in America, has produced a successor to The Benson Murder Case and The Canary Murder Case, which we have been considering for three months.² In some points of detail, Mr. Van Dine has improved. The eminent amateur...

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The Golden Ass of Apuleius. A review of The Golden Ass Apuleius . . . Trans. W. Adlington. With an Essay by Charles Whibley

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pp. 485-488

The publishers have made a handsome volume, with impressive end papers, well worth the price. As the Tudor Translation text is out of print, and therefore extremely expensive, we are very glad to have this text which is well printed.¹ All the more because the publishers have had the good sense to...

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The New Censorship. To the Editor of The Nation and Athenaeum

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pp. 489-489

Sir, – I should like to add a line in support of the admirable protest made by Mr. Forster and Mrs. Woolf in your last issue against the “withdrawal from circulation” of The Well of Loneliness.¹ I do not like the book, but I agree that it is perfectly decent; and I see no grounds for the suppression. I wish...

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Preface to This American World, by Edgar Ansel Mowrer

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pp. 490-494

The national and racial self-consciousness of our time, with its various transformations since the war, has provided the subject-matter for a great number of books of a new sort. The literature of Bolshevism has been followed by the literature of Fascism, and neither of these subjects appears to be...

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Questions of Prose. To the Editor of The Times Literary Supplement

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pp. 495-496

Sir, – In your interesting leading article of September 13 your reviewer makes one point which seems to me of some importance, and which may easily be overlooked. He quotes the well-known passage from North’s Plutarch (Coriolanus’s speech to Aufidius), and follows it with the equally famous...

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Publishers’ Preface to Fishermen of the Banks, by James B. Connolly

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pp. 497-499

The town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, lies about forty miles north-east of Boston.² As, in the old days, New Bedford to the south of Cape Cod was the centre of the whaling industry, and Salem, between Boston and Gloucester, was the centre for the fast clipper ships which traded with China, so...

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Two Studies in Dante. An unsigned review of Dante’s Conception of Justice, by Allan H. Gilbert; and The New Beatrice; or, The Virtue that Counsels. A Study in Dante, by Gratia Eaton Baldwin

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pp. 500-503

These two books, both issued from American university presses, are curiously different, but arrive very happily together for any reader who cares to meditate upon human nature as exhibited by Dante students. The first, it must be said at once, is very much better and more important than the...

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Three Reformers. An unsigned review of Three Reformers: Luther, Descartes, Rousseau, by Jacques Maritain

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pp. 504-509

This is the second of M. Maritain’s books to be translated, Messrs. Sheed and Ward having this year brought out a translation of the small Vie d’Oraison by Mr. Algar Thorold.¹ The French editions of other of Maritain’s works such as Réflexions sur l’Intelligence have also been reviewed.² Maritain’s...

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Augustan Age Tories. An unsigned review of The Social and Political Ideas of Some English Thinkers of the Augustan Age, A.D. 1650-1750, ed. F. J. C. Hearnshaw

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pp. 510-512

This is the fifth volume of a series which has been edited by Professor Hearnshaw, of London University: each volume consists of a series of lectures at Kings College during the academic year, and each lecture is by a different authority. It is no small commendation to say that this volume is...

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Preface to For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on Style and Order

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pp. 513-514

Had I wished to publish a volume of collected literary essays, this book would have been much bigger. The reader may be puzzled to know why I selected these articles and in this order. I wished to indicate certain lines of development, and to disassociate myself from certain conclusions which...

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Censorship. To the Editor of Time and Tide

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pp. 515-516

Sir, – I have read with great interest Mr. Bernard Shaw’s article on the Irish Censorship in your issue of November 16th.² After this article and that of Mr. W. B. Yeats in The Spectator, it seems that there is little more to be said.³ Yet I am tempted to write, both because it is a rare pleasure for me to find...

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Introduction to Selected Poems, by Ezra Pound; rpt. with Postscript

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pp. 517-533

Mr. Ezra Pound recently made for publication in New York a volume of “collected poems” under the title of Personæ.²* I made a few suggestions for omissions and inclusions in a similar collection to be published in London; and out of discussions of such matters with Pound arose the spectre of an...

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A Commentary (Dec 1928)

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pp. 534-539

At the moment of writing this Commentary we hear rumours of fresh activity in the censorship of books. The Home Secretary has let fall a hint; there has been some correspondence in The Times: what is disquieting about this correspondence is that there appear to be persons prepared to...

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The Literature of Fascism

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pp. 540-550

I am, I suppose, a typical representative of the British and American public in the extent of my knowledge and ignorance of fascism in Italy. I have paid one or two visits to Italy under the present regime; I have the casual comments of friends who have been living there; I have read the apparently...

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Freud’s Illusions. A review of The Future of an Illusion, by Sigmund Freud, trans. W. D. Robson-Scott

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pp. 551-554

This is undoubtedly one of the most curious and interesting books of the season: Dr. Freud’s brief summary of his views on the future of Religion. We can hardly qualify it by anything but negatives; it has little to do with the past or the present of religion, and nothing, so far as I can see, with...

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Elizabeth and Essex. An unsigned review of Elizabeth and Essex: A Tragic History, by Lytton Strachey

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pp. 555-561

When Mr. Strachey published his Eminent Victorians there arose a myth about him which neither his earlier nor his later works have been able to dissipate.² He was received as the mocking iconoclast of the Victorian Pantheon, a stripper of reputation, a master of the art of reducing the great...

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Introduction to The Merry Masque of Our Lady in London Town, by Charles A. Claye

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pp. 562-567

The Oxford Dictionary definition of a “masque” is, in brief, “an amateur histrionic entertainment, originally in dumb show, later including dialogue, etc.; dramatic composition for this.”² The definition, which we have taken purposely from the “concise” Oxford Dictionary, omits much that...

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American Critics. An unsigned review of The Reinterpretation of American Literature: Some Contributions toward the Understanding of its Historical Development, ed. Norman Foerster

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pp. 568-573

This book is a compilation of essays on related subjects, written on various occasions, but having something of the nature of a symposium, though the various authors do not criticize each other. It is of considerable general interest. The authors are chiefly of the academic world and of the younger...

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Introduction to Goethe. A review of Goethe and Faust: An Interpretation, by F. Melian Stawell and G. Lowes Dickinson; and Goethe’s Faust, trans. Anna Swanwick

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pp. 574-577

It is a pity that the first of these books should have to be offered for sale at fifteen shillings. I know quite well the size of the public and the costs of production; under present conditions no publisher would launch such a book at a lower price. But the authors express the desire to “extend, in this country...

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Turbervile’s Ovid. An unsigned review of The Heroycall Epistles of Ovid, translated into English Verse by George Turbervile, ed. Frederick Boas

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pp. 578-581

A reprint of Turbervile’s translation of the Heroides has long been due not only to the author but to every student of Tudor verse.¹ Turbervile’s translation of 1567 is memorable for two reasons: next to Golding’s Metamorphoses and Marlowe’s Amores it is the best Tudor translation of Ovid; and secondly...

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Contemporary Literature: Is Modern. Realism Frankness or Filth? To the Editor of The Forum

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pp. 582-584

To the Editor:
I have read with interest Mr. Granville Hicks’ article in your December number, and believe that I am in the main in agreement with him.² There are one or two excellent points made by him which I think would bear a little heavier stress.
In any discussion of the frankness and realism...

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Mr. P. E. More’s Essays. An unsigned review of The Demon of the Absolute, by Paul Elmer More

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pp. 585-588

Those who know Mr. More as the author of the many volumes of “Shelburne Essays,” and of the five volumes entitled “The Greek Tradition,” will find that this first volume of “New” Shelburne Essays is not merely a continuation of the old.¹ In the former series, Mr. More appears as a critic of the type...

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The Latin Tradition. An unsigned review of Founders of the Middle Ages, by Edward Kennard Rand

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pp. 589-592

This book consists of a series of Lowell Lectures delivered in Boston in 1928.¹ Though obviously lectures, or obviously to anyone who has ever lectured, reproduced (in the author’s words) “substantially as they were delivered,” and though decidedly readable, these are not popular lectures; the...

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Sleeveless Errand. To the Editor of The New Statesman

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pp. 593-595

Sir: Like Mr. Edward Garnett, whose letter in your issue of March 16th I read with much interest, I was disturbed by the attitude which you adopted towards the Sleeveless Errand case; and I am not reassured by your reply to Mr. Garnett.² I have not read the book, but your comments upon it seem to...

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A Commentary (Apr 1929)

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pp. 596-600

Everyone who cares for civilization must dread and deplore that waste of time, money, energy and illusion which is called a General Election. No country pays so heavily for this undesirable luxury as Britain. In France political changes occur so frequently as to be indifferent; in America the...

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Sherlock Holmes and his Times. A review of The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and The Leavenworth Case, by Anna Katharine Green

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pp. 601-610

It might seem that Father Knox, in his definitive Studies in Sherlock Holmes (V, “Essays in Satire,” pp. 145 ff.) had said the last word on Sherlock Holmes:² yet he overlooks several interesting points, and commits one gross error in saying that Rouletabille was the natural son of Ballmeyer...

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Sacco and Vanzetti. To the Editor of The Nation and Athenaeum

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pp. 611-611

SIR: I was interested by Sir Horace Plunkett’s letter in your issue of the 13th inst. On the general question of this case, I sympathize with Mr. Mortimer; and I hasten to add that I have no closer knowledge of it than has Mr. Mortimer.² But I feel quite sure that in underlining President...

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The Little Review. To the Editor of The Little Review

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pp. 612-613

I am distressed by your letter.¹ I have been pallbearer at the funeral of several periodicals and have, like the speaker in Tom Moore’s famous poem, become used to the expectation that anything in which I am interested should die.² But although I have not had the honour to contribute to...

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Second Thoughts about Humanism

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pp. 614-624

In July, 1928, I published in The Forum the note on the Humanism of Irving Babbitt which appears on the foregoing pages.2† I understand that Professor Babbitt considers that I misstated his views: but as I have not yet received detailed correction from any Humanist, I am still in the dark.³ It is...

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The Tudor Translators

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pp. 625-633

In talking about some of the great prose writers of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, I do not mean to follow the method of history books. What I want to do is to give a kind of cross section of English prose at one time, say in the later years of Queen Elizabeth;² and by putting one...

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The Elizabethan Grub Street

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pp. 634-642

I call this “The Elizabethan Grub Street” instead of “Elizabethan Novelists” for two reasons. Although most of the men I shall mention wrote novels or romances, it is their whole work in all its variety, not their novels by themselves, which throws light upon their time. Also I wished to omit two novels...

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The Genesis of Philosophic Prose: Bacon and Hooker

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pp. 643-651

In case this title sounds rather forbidding, I must say at once that I do not propose to discuss either the philosophy of Bacon or the theology of Hooker; I wish only to consider the two men as great prose writers, and indicate their contribution to the English language which we use to-day...

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A Commentary (July 1929)

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pp. 652-656

A good deal has been accomplished, during the last year or two, towards preserving monuments and places of historical interest or beauty; and much generosity, devotion and hard work have been well spent. Much has been done locally at Oxford and at Cambridge, and the danger and desecration...

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Mr. Barnes and Mr. Rowse

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pp. 657-665

I am gratified that my comments on the literature of Fascism, in The Criterion of December last, provided the occasion for the very able articles on Fascism and Communism by Mr. J. S. Barnes and Mr. A. L. Rowse respectively in the April number.¹ My own rôle was merely to ask questions...

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An unsigned review of Extraits d’un Journal: 1908-1928, by Charles du Bos

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pp. 666-666

Charles du Bos is a writer whose name is known to everyone who knows contemporary French literature, though he writes but little. This is a journal of a man of culture and taste and insight, who knows well several literatures, including English, and who in two volumes entitled Approximations...

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The Prose of the Preacher: The Sermons of Donne

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pp. 667-674

In the classification of prose styles the theology of Hooker is nearer to the philosophy of Bacon than it is to the prose of Donne and other great preachers. The first represents an important step in the development of reasoning; the second represents a step in the development of oratory...

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Elizabethan Travellers’ Tales

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pp. 675-682

Tonight I wish to turn away for a while from the professional men of letters, to consider another type of prose which is interesting in any period.2† All of the men we have so far dealt with have been professional writers, each in his own line; we shall meet with the amateur writer, the courtier...

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The Tudor Biographers

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pp. 683-690

The three specimens of the art of biography, with which I shall close my review of Tudor types, all come rather late in history. Fulke Greville’s life of his friend Sir Philip Sidney was not published until 1652, twenty-four years after the author’s death. Lord Herbert of Cherbury, the brother of the...

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The Early Novel. An unsigned review of The History of the English Novel, vol 2: The Elizabethan Age and After, by Ernest A. Baker; and John Lyly and the Italian Renaissance, by Violet M. Jeffery

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pp. 691-694

Professor Baker’s book succeeds in fulfilling two functions: by itself, it summarizes usefully all the information about the forms of fiction in Elizabethan times; and it also takes its place as one volume in his history of the novel of which several volumes remain to be written.² It covers, we...

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Preface to Dante

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pp. 695-699

If my task had been to produce another brief “introduction to the study of Dante” I should have been incompetent to perform it. But in a series of essays of “Poets on Poets” the undertaking, as I understand it, is quite a different one. A contemporary writer of verse, in writing a pamphlet of this...

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Dante

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pp. 700-745

In my own experience of the appreciation of poetry I have always found that the less I knew about the poet and his work, before I began to read it, the better. A quotation, a critical remark, an enthusiastic essay, may well be the accident that sets one to reading a particular author; but an elaborate...

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A Commentary (Oct 1929)

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pp. 746-752

In the Nineteenth Century for August is published a very interesting article by the late Conservative Home Secretary over his new name. It confirms the opinion that we have always held; that the late Sir William Joynson-Hicks is a very honest, conscientious, public-spirited and bewildered man...

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Experiment in Criticism

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pp. 753-768

There is no department of literature in which it is more difficult to establish a distinction between “traditional” and “experimental” work than literary criticism.² For here both words may be taken in two senses. By traditional criticism we may mean that which follows the same methods...

Index

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pp. 769-786

Illustrations

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