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396 LETTERS IN CANADA tion Cen 1899) du roman, avec une appreciation des reactions extremement variees de la critique contemporaine. Dans la demiere partie, I'auteur nous propose une etude de Fecondite Ii la fois en tant que roman Ii these, histoire evangelique et recit mythique. 'Requisitoire contre l'individualisme et toutes les formes de I'ascetisme, conclut-il, appel Ii la conliance dans la vie terrestre, hymne ala creation universelle, Fecondite developpe et approfondit un des aspects essentiels de cette ideologie du nombre, qui caracterise toute l'ceuvre du romancier' C p 212). En elfet, il y a une exemplaire continuite dans cette ceuvre Cet Baguley Ie souligne tout Ie long de son expose): Les Rougon-Macquart se terminent sur une note d'esperance, Les Trois Villes sont la transition et les Evangiles la realisation de la Promesse, l'acces acette Terre Promise, admirable et symbolique mirage des premiers Hebreux. Dans des 'Appendices' on trouve encore des details du plan general, des dossiers preparatoires et des variantes de Fecondite. Vingt pages de notes, une excellente bibliographie et un index viennent completer une documentation approfondie et ajoutent aI'utilite du livre. Cette edition, vingt et unieme de la remarquable Romance Series de l'Universite de Toronto, constituera desormais, avec Ie Zola et son temps de Rene Temois, une etude indispensable non seulement pour les specialistes de Zola, mais surtout pour ceux qui s'interessent aI'ambiance sociale et intellectuelle de la France vers la lin du dix-neuvieme siecle. CB.H. BAKKER) Peter F. Morgan, editor, The Letters of Thomas Hood. University of Toronto Press, xxviii, 691, $15.00 This impressive collection of Thomas Hood's letters is a substantial and valuable contribution to an understanding of Hood's life and character, as well as to knowledge of the late Romantic and early Victorian periods. Before the last decade, biographers and editors of Hood - including even Walter Jerrold to a considerable extent - have been largely dependent on Hood's son and daughter, whose familial piety understandably kept them from being completely objective. J.e. Reid's Thomas Hood (1963) and John Clubbe's Victorian Forerunner (1968) provided welcome additions and modifications, but Professor Morgan's work goes much further in revealing Hood as he really was, with some merits and weaknesses which, as a matter of degree, have not been thoroughly understood before. For example, his contentiousness, even quarrelsomeness, glossed over by his children, becomes very clear, especially in the last years. Even more important is the fact that many of the letters are sparkling and witty prose, HUMANiTIES 397 real literature in their own right - the early letters to the Reynoldses, some to Robert Balmanno, and the later letters to Philip De Franck, Jane Reynolds Hood, Charles Dilke, and William and Georgiana Elliot. They do not change, but they expand appreciably, our knowledge of the joking, teasing, charming Hood. It would be difficult to exaggerate the ingenuity and resourcefulness which Professor Morgan has shown in discovering unpublished letters and in locating the manuscripts of those partially published. He has been an extraordinarily successful researcher in exploring all possible sources. He has uncovered 213 entirely new letters, some of which are lengthy and valuable documents. And this number does not include the host of additions to letters previously published in part. Although the introduction to so large a volume might perhaps have been more extensive and detailed in interpreting the facets of Hood's character and the personalities of his relatives and closest friends, it achieves its basic purposes quite helpfully in sketching the outline of Hood's biography, in reviewing the development of his three-fold achievement from the early Keatsian poetry of the twenties through the comic work of the thirties to the humanitarian verse of the forties, in orienting the reader to Hood's major correspondents, and in revealing how this edition enlarges earlier work on Hood. The letters are edited carefully and accurately, though Professor Morgan stops short of the practices of some recent American editors who have included cancelled passages. The advantage of omitting cancellations in preventing impediments to the reader's smooth progress probably over-balances the small disadvantage of losing the complete account...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 396-397
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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