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90 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY have tried to bind their novels together by using repetitive patterns based on phrase, character, and incident. Mr. Micawber, whose character remains static, becomes permanently fixed in our minds because of his constant repetition of slogans he professes but never follows. Becky Sharp attains a true and appalling permanence by constantly repeating the same pattern in the various incidents of her life. It is when Brown deals with expanding symbols, and uses Proust and Forster as examples, that he becomes most interesting and illuminating. With this reviewer he achieved a minor triumph; he almost persuaded me that Howard's End is a great novel, even though I still believe that its beginning is inept and its characters more shadowy than they need be. In a masterpiece of recapitulation, Brown recovers the book's spirit, condenses and clarifies it, and presents it so freshly that I want to read it again. Indeed, Rhythm in the Novel makes you want to re-read nearly all the writers with whom it deals. Brown's mastery of detail never for a moment clouds the interest of the reader or his sense of Brown's great love for the works he is engaged in illuminating. Rhythm in the Novel is therefore critical writing at its best. Brown reveals an ancient truth: to understand a man's work, you must love it. Love it, not merely admire it. THE ELIZABETHAN AGE' MILLAR MACLuRE "The Elizabethan age," says Professor Rowse at the beginning of this admirable book, the most impressive though not the most finished of his contributions to English history, "is not something dead and apart from us; it is alive and all around us and within us." The opening chapter provides a fine set of variations on this theme, as we are invited to contemplate the living monuments of that timethe great houses, the miniatures, the ornate tombs and prideful effigies, the jewellery- and the living memories of Elizabeth, the Prayer Book, Shakespeare. But indeed the whole book amplifies our knowledge of this mighty legacy, in a detailed description of the structure of that society, at once base and noble, squalid and splendid, highly integrated yet immensely varied, in which greatness was the fashion. Here are gathered in one convenient place the conclusions of the *The England of Elizabeth: The Structure of Society. By A. L. ROWSE. London: Macmi11an & Co. Ltd. [Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited]. Pp. xvi, 547. $5.00. REVIEWS 91 specialist historians of land tenure, of the sixteenth-century "industrial revolution," of the constitution and the law, of the Church and of education. All these special topics are illuminated by a preliminary review of the labours of the Elizabethan historians and antiquaries, of Lambarde, Stow, and above all Camden. The book is full of Camden's phrases and of Camden's spirit: if Professor Rowse has an Elizabethan counterpart it is Camden. Like the Elizabethan scholars and like Leland, who "was totally inflamed with a love to see thoroughly all those parts of this ... opulent and ample realm that [he} had read of," who saw them, "and noted in so doing a whole world of things very memorable," he knows the lines of history on the face of the land and the vast treasures of local records. He has compiled and interpreted a mass of such scattered materials: diaries of country gentlemen, parish registers; quarter sessions rolls, household books, etc. Instead of the lifeless composite picture we sec the rich multiplicity of concrete details; dozens of illuminating examples are treated at large. The conditions of land tenure are illustrated, for instance, from the Hovenden maps of the estates of All Souls; industrial development from the account books of the Gennan copper miners in the Lake District; the administration of justice by the J.P.'s from the uproarious case of Ellen Smith of Norton tried before Cannock in Staffordshire, and so on. This book is distinguished among many others on the Elizabethan age by the copious and intelligent use of such materials. Any survey of Elizabethan society becomes in effect a history of the rise of the gentry, and this work is a celebration of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 90-93
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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