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Amaryllis at the Fair   By: (1848-1887)

Amaryllis at the Fair by Richard Jefferies

First Page:

AMARYLLIS AT THE FAIR

THE READERS' LIBRARY

Uniform with this Volume

BELLOC, H.

AVRIL. Essays on the Poetry of the French Renaissance

BIRRELL, AUGUSTINE

ORBITER DICTA

BOURNE, GEORGE

MEMOIRS OF A SURREY LABOURER

BROOKS, STOPFORD A.

STUDIES IN POETRY. Essays on Blake, Scott, Shelley, Keats, etc.

EVERETT, W.

ITALIAN POETS SINCE DANTE

GALSWORTHY, JOHN

A COMMENTARY

HUDSON, W. H.

GREEN MANSIONS. A Romance of the Tropical Forest

THE PURPLE LAND. Descriptive Romance

JEFFERIES, RICHARD

AMARYLLIS AT THE FAIR

BEVIS. The Story of a Boy

AFTER LONDON

MCCABE, JOSEPH

ST. AUGUSTINE AND HIS AGE

NEVINSON, H. W.

ESSAYS IN FREEDOM

STEPHEN, SIR LESLIE

ENGLISH LITERATURE AND SOCIETY

IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER. First Series. Two Volumes

STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER. Second Series. Two Volumes

WITTE, DR. CARL

ESSAYS ON DANTE

ROOSEVELT, THEODORE

THE STRENUOUS LIFE. Essays and Addresses

ECKENSTEIN, LINA

COMPARATIVE STUDIES IN NURSERY RHYMES: Essays in a Branch of Folklore

CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM, R. B.

PROGRESS, and other Sketches

Additional Volumes will be announced from time to time

AMARYLLIS AT THE FAIR

BY

RICHARD JEFFERIES

AUTHOR OF "THE GAMEKEEPER AT HOME," "AFTER LONDON," "WOOD MAGIC; A FABLE," "BEVIS," ETC.

"Our day is but a finger: bring large cups." ALCÆUS.

[Illustration]

LONDON DUCKWORTH AND CO. 3, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, W.C.

Reissued 1904 Reprinted in Readers Library 1911 All rights reserved

=Dedicated=

TO

CHARLES PRESTWICH SCOTT.

[Illustration]

INTRODUCTION.[1]

"THE book is not a novel" is a phrase often in the mouth of critics, who on second thoughts might, perhaps, add with less emphasis, "It does not conform to the common type of novel." Fortified, however, with that sense of rectitude that dictates conformity to our neighbours and a safe acquiescence in the mysterious movements of public taste, the critics have exclaimed with touching unanimity "What a pity Jefferies tried to write novels! Why didn't he stick to essays in natural history!"

What a pity Jefferies should have given us "Amaryllis at the Fair," and "After London"! this opinion has been propagated with such fervency that it seems almost a pity to disturb it by inquiring into the nature of these his achievements. Certainly the critics, and their critical echoes, are united. "He wrote some later novels of indifferent merit," says a critic in "Chambers' Encyclopædia." "Has anyone ever been able to write with free and genuine appreciation of even the later novels?" asks or echoes a lady, Miss Grace Toplis, writing on Jefferies. "In brief, he was an essayist and not a novelist at all," says Mr. Henry Salt. "It is therefore certain that his importance for posterity will dwindle, if it has not already dwindled, to that given by a bundle of descriptive selections. But these will occupy a foremost place on their particular shelf, the shelf at the head of which stands Gilbert White and Gray," says Mr. George Saintsbury. "He was a reporter of genius, and he never got beyond reporting. Mr. Besant has the vitalising imagination which Jefferies lacked," says Mr. Henley in his review of Walter Besant's "Eulogy of Richard Jefferies"; and again, "They are not novels as he (Walter Besant) admits, they are a series of pictures. . . . That is the way he takes Jefferies at Jefferies' worst." Yes, it is very touching this unanimity, and it is therefore a pleasure for this critic to say that in his judgment "Amaryllis at the Fair" is one of the very few later day novels of English country life that are worth putting on one's shelf, and that to make room for it he would turn out certain highly praised novels by Hardy which do not ring quite true, novels which the critics and the public, again with touching unanimity, have voted to be of high rank... Continue reading book >>




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