George Meredith

George Meredith

George Meredith

George Meredith

Excerpt

If the main purpose of this book had been biographical and not critical, I should not have had the audacity to attempt it, as there are still many persons alive who knew Meredith more or less intimately, whereas I have never set eyes upon him and was only a schoolboy when he died. But as the chief business of this volume, like the others in the series, is criticism, and criticism, so far as it is possible, aloof from the turmoil of contemporary opinion, I believe my disability as a biographer to be in my favour as a critic. It is difficult for a person who has come into contact with a strong and individual personality such as Meredith even to begin a critical estimate with any degree of impartiality: the man has turned the scale, one way or the other, for the writer. And few writers have suffered more from a lack of detachment in their critics than George Meredith. But whatever my own weaknesses as a critic may be, I have at least here the advantage of impartiality; it requires no effort to be detached; and if it is the opinion of posterity that is required in such a study as this, so far as Meredith is concerned I am free to count my own as one of . . .

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