The Eighteen-Sixties: Essays by Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature

The Eighteen-Sixties: Essays by Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature

The Eighteen-Sixties: Essays by Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature

The Eighteen-Sixties: Essays by Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature

Excerpt

It was Mr Granville-Barker who proposed to a little lunch party at the Garrick Club that the papers delivered to the Royal Society of Literature should be written year by year with some co-ordination of aim. After much discussion it was decided that this could be most suitably achieved by concentrating upon a given period. In order to make the scheme more specific, the period in each case was to be a decade. The firstfruits were brought together in The Eighteen-Seventies, edited byGranville- Barker himself, and were followed by The EighteenEighties, edited by Mrde la Mare. The present volume, which turns back to the 'sixties, is the third of the series.

Within the very simple editorial plan the writers, needless to say, have been free to follow their own bent. But the editor in each case has had a double purpose to fulfil, and it has been his business to see that not the treatment but the choice of subjects was made with this purpose in mind. The intention of each of these volumes is to give nothing like an exhaustive survey, but a faithful impression of the period in question, and, further, to give this impression without re-examining the major writers whose work is familiarly known to everyone who cares about literature at all.

In the eighteen-sixties, for example, the representative English poets clearly were Tennyson and Browning . . .

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