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I I I .r '' • •. f< I ~~ .... • i r I \ I . t . :. . 1·: I • ' !'· .. 1.· l:;~ 1'i ' I J • I ~ ; (.;: I ; ~ I ' ' r •. , ! ' I r: - ! ~~, I i J ' 1-1 . f..··, I ·~• ' ! ,....-· , I - '._ • -' . . -I I-· . ._,• ':. , 106 THE UN-IVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY """'~- .... . I -· ·,_., I ~~- ' . - The ~ther selections are sparsely a~notated. · The. note- on the sonnet To Guido Cavalcanti (p. 621) says that "her the thirtieth on _ my roll" is ' Beatrice, whic~ is highly improbable. · · ·· The editor's-introduction (pp. vii-xi) cont;;tins informatio'n pn the life ang· works of Dante; .a comparison of the traditional "scholarly" way or _judging the Comedy with that of Mr. T·. S. Eliot,' followed by sensitive criticism of the three (;antiche, illustrating the preferred approach-that' of· ·relying on the personal impressions of the ."perceptive read~r." "Redeththe grete poet of Ytaille/That highte Dant, ~ .. " as· Chaucer said who,· / it is true; was recommending the original rather than a ,translation. . J. E. SHAW The Portable Elizabethan Reader. Edited a~ci with an introduction by HIRAM HAYDN. New York: Viking Press [Toronto: Macmillan Co. of Canada].- 1946. Pp. xvi, 688. ($2.50) · ,· The selection; fo~ this compact and convenient 'volume have .been chosen to represent the literature and life ofthe Elizabethan age from some of the less hackneyed sou·rces and to interest the general reader as much as the scholar. The editor has shown skill in representing the leading interests of the age-,in theology, politics, ethics, the tradition of the humanities', the lore ·of,science·old and new, the ·voyages of discovery-as·well ·as the aesthetic _achievements · in dtama, prose, and poetry. Interpreting the limits of the Eiizabethan age flexibly to include the total literary output of_ '. such writers as John Donne and Francis Bacon, the editor has· taken the customary view of the period as one.of transition from medieval a-prio'rism to t~e. inductive methods of scie~ce, and his selections .are especially designed to illustrate the awareness of new ·motives and tendencies if?-science, --ethics, and politics, in an age still linked. with the medieval past by its moral and theological preconceptions. The sele'ctions ·appropriately begin, therefore, with a passage from. ),Donne's Ignatius Hi.s Conclave, illustrating the "new horizons, of the - a~e; and 'range 'through such topics as '-'the dream .of power" (illustrated from - the marginalia of Gabriel Harvey to a·speech in the House of.Commons by Francis Bacon); "the rise of protestantism" (Foxe's Book of M_artyr.s to's Sermons); "the creed of the court" (Astrophel an_d Stella to T'fl:e Gull's Hor:nbook); '.'the 'common man" (Nashe, Dekker, Deloney, and the broadside ballads);·"the well of the past" (the historians and translators);·-- "an age of song" (this last section aims to provide an adequate repre·sen- · tation of a few poets-Wyatt, Ralegh, Campion, Jonson, Donne-rather 1 than a safl1pling of many). The omission of Shakespe~re is deliberate, since he is represented in another volume of thi· s series and since, as the edito·r . t~~arks, the present selection is pervaded throughoqt by the-spirit of the great poet and dramatist. ' • I · ' t ' ' '• I I I • 1 ,• I . ,. . • / I I I I I• ..·.,.,- ; .t 1 It I I I ' _·' ... REVIEWS -107 The editor,§ introduction is ~ spirited attempt to interpret the ·age on .the basis ofthe selections here offered. In a surv~y of such extended scope, there is abundant. roo~ for differences of emphasis. The present _ reviewer, wquld I not agree with the view taken of Montaigne as the spokesman for 'an' empirical natur" alism which was .ind~_ed· read into his essays by some seventeenth-century libertins but which must surely have been foreign to . .the purpose of_the advocate of-"nature" as the authority of tradition and . reason atp!l' which was, to' all appeara~ces at least, undiscerned by his Elizabeth a n readers; nor with the attribution to the Elizabethans of a ~ewly awakened interest in the theory of virtu and,the tactics of power politics, which seem to have been- as familiar to Wolsey and Thomas·Ctom. well-or to More in the Utopia-as to Gabriel Harvey and Francis Bacon. But the editor~.s survey is a competent and stimulating study of a complex period ,which serves admirably to introduce his judicious selection from the representative literature of the age. : ( H . s. WILSON ' The Portable Blake. Selected and arranged with an introduction by ' 1 ALFRED KAZIN. New York: Viking Press {Toronto: Macmillan Co·. of Ca~ada]. 1946. Pp. xii, ·713. ($2.50) The Portable Blake gives all the best lyrics, the "mince' or shorter prophecies almost complete, good extracts from the letters and miscellaneous writings, and extracts from the three long prophecies. In addition there are the Job engravings and the passages relating to Blake from .CrabbRobinson 's diary, besides the editorial comment. One curious blunder is the printing of the marginalia without the original passages to which they ' refer even when the comment (e.g., "Well Said Enough!', or "Damned Fool!") does not stand alone. The Job series also carries only the leading biblical_quotations underneath, and hardly suggests the conception of Job as an epitome of biblical symbolism which the variety of quotation in the .original is designed to suggest. The extracts from the long prophecies are skilfully made, though from a purple-passage attitude t_owards them which I _ :find unacceptable. The brilliant satire An Island in the Moon, which shows a unique side ofBlake's genius, is the most conspicuous _ omission. The introduction attempts with fair success to give a sympathetic impression of Blake,s personality, though it follows the enraptured-crank·stereotype too closely, and avoids the deeper aspects ofhis thought altogether . The book can be recommended as a classroom text, as it is con- I siderably ·cheaper tha!f the complete one-volume Poetry and Prose edited by ~eynes, from which its text is taken, and which presumably tbeserious -student would prefer having. NoRTHROP FRYE I • ; . ...


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