Essays, Literary & Educational

Essays, Literary & Educational

Essays, Literary & Educational

Essays, Literary & Educational

Excerpt

The essays that compose this book are miscellaneous; and I must ask the reader to remember that they were not all addressed to the same kind of audience. Reality and Fantasy in Elizabethan Literature and Thomas Love Peacock are more popular than the rest, assuming little knowledge of their themes. At the other end of the scale, Shakespeare's Historical Cycle takes for granted a fresh knowledge of the plays concerned and had better be avoided by those who lack it. The rest lie somewhere between these two extremes.

Research in the Humanities embodies a lecture given at various Canadian universities under the auspices of the Humanities Research Council of Canada and should be read as so doing.

Although I wrote up the Origins of English Anti-Romanticism in 1951 I based it on notes for a lecture within a course for the English Tripos at Cambridge in the early thirties, when the reaction against the Romantics was at its height; and I fancy that in tone it belongs to the earlier date.

The literary essays are printed according to the dates of their subjects except "A Mirror for Magistrates" Revisited, which comes last instead of first. I made the exception so that this essay could come next to the first of the educational essays, which also has things to say about the Mirror.

A few sentences in The Literary Kinds and Milton and in Conrad "Secret Agent" Reconsidered are repeated from the Nature of Comedy and Shakespeare. There seemed little point in saying the same things (which needed saying) in other words; and I hope the reader will not be irritated by the repetition.

The date added to the title of each essay in the table of contents is that of composition. Most of the essays have been published before; and I have given details of the place and date of publication on the Acknowledgements page.

E. M. W. T.

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