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Masters of the English Novel A Study of Principles and Personalities   By: (1861-1940)

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Richard Burton's "Masters of the English Novel: A Study of Principles and Personalities" is an insightful and comprehensive examination of some of the most prominent figures in English literature. Featuring an impressive range of authors, from Charles Dickens to Virginia Woolf, Burton provides a compelling analysis of their work, shedding light on the various themes, techniques, and ideologies that have shaped the English novel.

One of the strengths of this book is the author's ability to delve into the inner workings of each writer's mind, spotlighting their unique writing styles and crafting a compelling narrative around their lives and literary careers. Burton's meticulous research is evident throughout the book, as he draws from an impressive array of sources and expertly weaves together various biographical details, critical interpretations, and historical context.

Burton's exploration of the principles that underpin the English novel is particularly noteworthy. He examines the social, political, and cultural influences that have shaped the genre, providing readers with a deeper understanding of how these factors have impacted the development of English literature over time. By uncovering the overarching principles that underlie the works of these masters, Burton enables readers to appreciate their contributions in a new and profound way.

Furthermore, the author demonstrates a keen eye for detail, capturing the nuances and complexities of each novelist's writing. Through close readings of iconic works, Burton uncovers the thematic threads that run through their narratives, offering readers valuable insights into the intentions and motivations behind their storytelling choices. This attention to detail helps the book transcend mere academic analysis, connecting readers more intimately with these literary giants and inspiring a renewed appreciation for their lasting impact.

While the book's subject matter can be somewhat dense and scholarly at times, Burton's accessible writing style ensures that both scholars and enthusiasts of English literature can engage with the text. His language is clear and engaging, guiding readers through complex ideas while maintaining a sense of enthusiasm and wonder for the novels being discussed.

Overall, "Masters of the English Novel: A Study of Principles and Personalities" is a noteworthy contribution to the study of English literature. Richard Burton's profound insights, thorough research, and engaging writing style make this book essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the principles and personalities that have shaped the English novel. Whether one is a student, scholar, or simply an avid reader, this book is a valuable resource that unlocks the brilliance of some of the greatest novelists in history.

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The principle of inclusion in this book is the traditional one which assumes that criticism is only safe when it deals with authors who are dead. In proportion as we approach the living or, worse, speak of those still on earth, the proper perspective is lost and the dangers of contemporary judgment incurred. The light minded might add, that the dead cannot strike back; to pass judgment upon them is not only more critical but safer.

Sometimes, however, the distinction between the living and the dead is an invidious one. Three authors hereinafter studied are examples: Meredith, Hardy and Stevenson. Hardy alone is now in the land of the living, Meredith having but just passed away. Yet to omit the former, while including the other two, is obviously arbitrary, since his work in fiction is as truly done as if he, like them, rested from his literary labors and the gravestone chronicled his day of death. For reasons best known to himself, Mr. Hardy seems to have chosen verse for the final expression of his personality. It is more than a decade since he published a novel. So far as age goes, he is the senior of Stevenson: "Desperate Remedies" appeared when the latter was a stripling at the University of Edinburgh... Continue reading book >>

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