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239 made of Yeats, Shaw, Bennett, or Wells (and the sale catalogue of Swinburne's library reveals that he owned a fair share of Hardy's works). The hackneyed recital of the Rossetti-Swlnburne relationship might well be condensed to allow for other fresher material. Happily, Mollle Panter-Downes has helped to amplify our knowledge of Swinburne's later years, and there is still the excellent essay by Arthur Symons In Figures of Several Centuries to consult for a penetrating critique of the later poetry. Nonetheless, Miss Fuller might have allowed more pages to the later Swinburne. Since the standard biography of Swinburne is still Lafourcade's forty-yearold book, the present one might have provided greater light upon its subject. Unhappily, It does not, but stands instead only as an example of sensation-mongerlng and as a challenge upon which, let us hope, some future student will vastly improve. University of Pennsylvania Benjamin Franklin Fisher IV 3. Wilde and Musset Charles B. Paul and Robert D. Pepper. "The Importance of Reading Alfred: Oscar Wilde's Debt to Alfred de Musset," Bulletin of the New York Public Library. LXXV (December 1971), 505^572. The burden of this monograph Is that the primary Indebtedness of The Importance of Being Earnest is not to Gilbert, Scribe, or the eighteenth-century comedy of manners but generally to the proverbe dramatique and specifically to Alfred de Musset· s Ll^ ne faut jurer de rien. The whole Is well done. Prefixed by six apt epigraphs. Introduced by a catalogue of Wilde's allusions to Musset - the paucity of which Is Itself made grounds for suspecting a heavy debt and buttressed by marhalling evidence that Wilde had seen Musset·s play, the argument traces parallel after parallel. The construction of each play In various versions is set out by scenes In tabular form and a translation of IjL ne faut Jurer de rien by Charles B. Paul and John L. Hellbron Is provîîed. The cited parallels naturally vary widely in force and the degree of assent readers give to the argument will vary as well. However, most will probably agree that the authors have assigned Wilde's play to the right genre and feel reasonably convinced that Jurer is the most direct model. There can be little doubt that mastery of the engagingly impertinent paradox remains all Wilde's own. Messrs. Paul and Pepper deserve commendation for both the thoroughness and elegance of their presentation - as does the Bulletin of the New York Public Library for allowing them the necessary space. Such a combination of high standards and generous editing is of course characteristic of the Bulletin. That the Library's financial situation necessitated a temporary suspension of the Bulletin was therefore especially distressing; more hopeful is the announcement (July 1972) that publication will resume though, at least for the present, In a curtailed form. Northern Illinois University Wendell V. Harris ...


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