England under the Angevin Kings - Vol. 2

England under the Angevin Kings - Vol. 2

England under the Angevin Kings - Vol. 2

England under the Angevin Kings - Vol. 2

Synopsis

When Theodore Dreiser first published Sister Carrie in 1900 it was suppressed for its seamy plot, colloquial language, and immorality--for, as one reviewer put it, its depiction of "the godless side of American life." It was a side of life experienced firsthand by Dreiser, whose own circumstances often paralleled those of his characters in the turbulent, turn-of-the-century era of immigrants, black lynchings, ruthless industrialists, violent labor movements, and the New Woman. This masterful critical biography, the first on Dreiser in more than half a century, is the only study to fully weave Dreiser's literary achievement into the context of his life. Jerome Loving gives us a Dreiser for a new generation in a brilliant evocation of a writer who boldly swept away Victorian timidity to open the twentieth century in American literature.

Dreiser was a controversial figure in his time, not only because of his literary efforts, which included publication of the brutal and heartbreaking An American Tragedy in 1925, but also because of his personal life, which featured numerous sexual liaisons, included membership in the communist party, merited a 180-page FBI file, and ended in Hollywood. The Last Titan paints a full portrait of the mature Dreiser between the two world wars--through the roaring twenties, the stock market crash, and the Depression--and describes his contact with important figures from Emma Goldman and H.L. Mencken to two presidents Roosevelt. Tracing Dreiser's literary roots in Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, and especially Whitman, Loving has written what will surely become the standard biography of one of America's best novelists.

Excerpt

1162-1164.

Somewhat more than a year after the primate’s death, Thomas the chancellor returned to England. He came, as we have seen, at the king’s bidding, ostensibly for the purpose of securing the recognition of little Henry as heir to the crown. But this was not the sole nor even the chief object of his mission. On the eve of his departure—so the story was told by his friends in later days—Thomas had gone to take leave of the king at Falaise. Henry drew him aside: “ You do not yet know to what you are going. I will have you to be archbishop of Canterbury.” the chancellor took, or tried to take, the words for a jest. “ a saintly figure indeed,” he exclaimed with a smiling glance at his own gay attire, “you are choosing to sit in that holy seat and to head that venerable convent! No, no,” he added with sudden earnestness, “ I warn you that if such a thing should be, our friendship would soon turn to bitter hate. I know your plans concerning the Church ; you will assert claims which I as archbishop must needs oppose ; and the breach once made, jealous hands would take care that it should never be healed again.” the words were prophetic; they sum up the whole history of the pontificate of Thomas Becket. Henry, however, in his turn passed them over as a mere jest, and at once proclaimed his intention to the chancellor’s fellow-envoys, one of whom was the justiciar, Richard de Lucy. “ Richard,” said the king, “ if I lay dead . . .

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