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

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George Saintsbury's Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 is a magnificent collection of literary analyses that offers a comprehensive exploration of the works and authors from this rich period in English literature. As an eminent literary critic, Saintsbury brings his outstanding expertise and deep understanding of his subject matter to every essay, making this book an invaluable resource for both scholars and enthusiasts of this era.

The collection is divided into several sections, each focusing on a specific literary movement or topic from the given time period. The essays cover a broad range of literary genres, including poetry, novels, and drama, providing a holistic view of the cultural and artistic developments that shaped English literature during this transformative century. Moreover, Saintsbury's writing style is engaging and insightful, effortlessly guiding the reader through complex literary analyses and making the potentially daunting subject matter accessible and enjoyable.

One of the notable strengths of Saintsbury's collection is his ability to provide a historical context for each piece of literature, shedding light on the social, political, and cultural circumstances that influenced its creation. By doing so, he allows readers to appreciate the significance of these works beyond their aesthetic and artistic qualities, opening up new avenues of interpretation and understanding.

Saintsbury's deep admiration for the authors and their respective works is evident throughout each essay. His enthusiasm and passion for literature shine through his prose, inspiring readers to revisit or discover these masterpieces for themselves. His scholarly insights, accompanied by ample references to other critical works, further augment the value of this collection and encourage readers to deepen their exploration of the era.

Despite its impressive scope and scholarly rigor, the book remains highly readable and engaging. Saintsbury strikes a delicate balance between academic analysis and accessible writing, ensuring that both specialists and non-experts can appreciate the depth of his insights without feeling overwhelmed.

Although the title of the book is not explicitly mentioned, it is clear that Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 is a must-read for anyone interested in this period of literary history. George Saintsbury's erudition, combined with his evocative writing, leaves a lasting impression and fosters a genuine appreciation for the works discussed. This collection stands as a testament to the importance of the literature of this era and reminds us why it continues to captivate and inspire readers to this day.

First Page:




1780 1860







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... Continue reading book >>

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