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48. MAY SINCLAIR Fruchtman, Lydia Carel. Dissertation in progress at University of Pennsylvania (1958-59). H.G. WELLS See the Editor's Fence in this issue for plans concerning a tentatively scheduled MLA Conference on Wells at Chicago, 1959. Scheduled for publication early this year was Wells' THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY, ed. by A.C. Ward, in The Heritage of Literature Series (Longmans). Professor Gettmann's edition of Gissing-Wells correspondence is nearing completinn, and Professor Wilson's edition of Bennett-Wells correspondence is reportedly in the hands of the English publisher. Harvey, David. Ph. D. Diss, planned (Columbia, 1959) on five writers living in Kent (and eastern Sussex): James, Conrad, Wells, Crane, Ford. (See comment under Ford.) McElderry, B.R. Jr. "Henry James and H.G. Wells," NINETEENTH-CENTURY FICTION, XIII (Dec. 1958), 26O-63. a review of HENRY JAMES aND H.G.. WELLS: A RECORD OF THEIR FRIENDSHIP___which supplements the book by identifying letters previously published and noticing omissions the reviewer feels might have been included. Murphy, Dorothy. "Time and the Modern Novel," WATERLOO REVIEW, I (Spring 1958), 30-40. Negative aspects of "increasing scientific knowledge and technological skills have produced such 'dark prophets of doom' as Wells, Huxley, and Orwell to cast a pall over the Christian concerns for the future." (Reported in ,JiS, I, Oct. 1958, item 322.) REVIEW THE EPIC STRAIN IN THE ENGLISH NOVEL, by E.M.W. Tillyard. Fair Lawn, NJ: Essential Books, 1958. $4.50. Many readers of this often provocative and sometimes provoking volume will wish to debate a number of the author's ideas with him. It is, I think, eminently a speculative book, a question-raiser, rather than a conclusive book. It is this fact which makes the book an interesting one rather than a pedantically deadly one. If one thinks of the ILIAD and the ODYSSEY as the great exemplars of the epic, one might feel that the inclusion of Bennett's CLaYHaNGER as a near-epic stretches the idea of the epic a bit. But, then, Tillyard writes of the "epic strain," and this is something quite different from the epic proper. Still, this label also seems quite elastic, Tillyard stretches it here and there as another writer might stretch it in different directions. If the epic strain is in Bennett, I find it difficult to deny, as Tillyard does, the epic strain to MIDDLEMARCH or Joyce's ULYSSES, and a number of other books. Much seems to depend on the quite subjective and individual decision on how broad or thick the strain must be to qualify a novel for Tillyard's category. However, using his knowledge of the epic and bringing his fine sensitivity to bear on his subject, Tillyard has written a lively and stimulating book. Whatever one may disagree with in this book, one finds some fine analyses of individual works that fit Tillyard's definition of the epic strain. —H.E. Gerber ...


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