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Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860   By: (1845-1933)

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First Page:

ESSAYS

IN

ENGLISH LITERATURE

1780 1860

BY

GEORGE SAINTSBURY

PERCIVAL AND CO. KING STREET, COVENT GARDEN

LONDON

1890

PREFACE

Of the essays in this volume, the introductory paper on "The Kinds of Criticism" has not before appeared in print. All the rest, with one exception (the Essay on Lockhart which appeared in the National Review ), were originally published in Macmillan's Magazine . To the Editors and Publishers of both these periodicals I owe my best thanks for permission to reprint the articles. To the Editor of Macmillan's Magazine in particular (to whom, if dedications were not somewhat in ill odour, I should, in memory of friendship old and new, have dedicated the book), I am further indebted for suggesting several of the subjects as well as accepting the essays. These appear in the main as they appeared; but I have not scrupled to alter phrase or substance where it seemed desirable, and I have in a few places restored passages which had been sacrificed to the usual exigencies of space. In two cases, those of Lockhart and De Quincey, I have thought it best to discuss, in a brief appendix, some questions which have presented themselves since the original publications. In consequence of these alterations and additions as well as for other reasons, it may be convenient to give the dates and places of the original appearance of each essay. They are as follows:

Lockhart, National Review , Aug. 1884. Borrow, Macmillan's Magazine , Jan. 1886. Peacock, do. April 1886. Wilson (under the title of "Christopher North"), do. July 1886. Hazlitt, do. March 1887. Jeffrey, do. August 1887. Moore, do. March 1888. Sydney Smith, do. May 1888. Praed, do. Sept. 1888. Leigh Hunt, do. April 1889. Crabbe, do. June 1889. Hogg, do. Sept. 1889. De Quincey, do. June 1890.

The present order is chronological, following the birth years of the authors discussed.

CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

THE KINDS OF CRITICISM ix

I. CRABBE 1

II. HOGG 33

III. SYDNEY SMITH 67

IV. JEFFREY 100

V. HAZLITT 135

VI. MOORE 170

VII. LEIGH HUNT 201

VIII. PEACOCK 234

IX. WILSON 270

X. DE QUINCEY 304

XI. LOCKHART 339

XII. PRAED 374

XIII. BORROW 403

APPENDIX A. DE QUINCEY 440

B. LOCKHART 444

INDEX 449

INTRODUCTION

THE KINDS OF CRITICISM

It is probably unnecessary, and might possibly be impertinent, to renew here at any length the old debate between reviewers as reviewers, and reviewers as authors the debate whether the reissue of work contributed to periodicals is desirable or not. The plea that half the best prose literature of this century would be inaccessible if the practice had been forbidden, and the retort that anything which can pretend to keep company with the best literature of the century will be readily relieved from the objection, at once sum up the whole quarrel, and leave it undecided. For my own part, I think that there is a sufficient connection of subject in the following chapters, and I hope that there is a sufficient uniformity of treatment... Continue reading book >>




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