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Adventures in Criticism   By: (1863-1944)

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Transcriber's Note: Brief Greek phrases appear in the original text in three places. They have been transliterated and placed between marks.

ADVENTURES IN CRITICISM

by

A. T. QUILLER COUCH

New York Charles Scribner's Sons Copyright, 1896 Trow Directory Printing and Bookbinding Company New York

To

A.B. WALKLEY

MY DEAR A.B.W.

The short papers which follow have been reprinted, with a few alterations, from The Speaker . Possibly you knew this without my telling you. Possibly, too, you have sat in a theatre before now and seen the curtain rise on two characters exchanging information which must have been their common property for years. So this dedication is partly designed to save me the trouble of writing a formal preface.

As I remember then, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed us by destiny to write side by side in The Speaker every week, you about Plays and I about Books. Three years ago you found time to arrange a few of your writings in a notable volume of Playhouse Impressions . Some months ago I searched the files of the paper with a similar design, and read my way through an astonishing amount of my own composition. Noble edifice of toil! It stretched away in imposing proportions and vanishing perspective week upon week two columns to the week! The mischief was, it did not appear to lead to anything: and for the first mile or two even the casual graces of the colonnade were hopelessly marred through that besetting fault of the young journalist, who finds no satisfaction in his business of making bricks without straw unless he can go straightway and heave them at somebody.

Still (to drop metaphor), I have chosen some papers which I hope may be worth a second reading. They are fragmentary, by force of the conditions under which they were produced: but perhaps the fragments may here and there suggest the outline of a first principle. And I dedicate the book to you because it would be strange if the time during which we have appeared in print side by side had brought no sense of comradeship. Though, in fact, we live far apart and seldom get speech together, more than one of these papers ostensibly addressed to anybody whom they might concern has been privately, if but sub consciously, intended for you.

A.T.Q.C.

CONTENTS

CHAUCER 1 "THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM" 29 SHAKESPEARE'S LYRICS 39 SAMUEL DANIEL 48 WILLIAM BROWNE 59 THOMAS CAREW 67 "ROBINSON CRUSOE" 75 LAWRENCE STERNE 90 SCOTT AND BURNS 103 CHARLES READE 124 HENRY KINGSLEY 131 ALEXANDER WILLIAM KINGLAKE 141 C.S.C. AND J.K.S 147 ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON 156 M. ZOLA 192 SELECTION 198 EXTERNALS 204 CLUB TALK 222 EXCURSIONISTS IN POETRY 229 THE POPULAR CONCEPTION OF A POET 235 POETS ON THEIR OWN ART 245 THE ATTITUDE OF THE PUBLIC TOWARDS LETTERS 254 A CASE OF BOOKSTALL CENSORSHIP 267 THE POOR LITTLE PENNY DREADFUL 276 IBSEN'S "PEER GYNT" 283 MR. SWINBURNE'S LATER MANNER 297 A MORNING WITH A BOOK 306 MR. JOHN DAVIDSON 314 BJÖRNSTERNE BJÖRNSON 332 MR. GEORGE MOORE 341 MRS. MARGARET L. WOODS 349 MR... Continue reading book >>




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