On Writing and Writers

On Writing and Writers

On Writing and Writers

On Writing and Writers

Excerpt

Some eighteen months ago I was honoured by a request from Lady Raleigh that I should look through her husband's lecture notes, and extract from them whatever seemed recoverable and worthy of record. I have now done so, and this book is the result.

The notes, dispersed in many note-books, ranged from his first essays as a lecturer in the middle eighties to marginalia of the year 1914. I discarded, as he himself had done, everything earlier than 1895, and have extracted nothing which he disdained to repeat after 1900. Most of the lectures which he continued to deliver were drafted between the years 1898 and 1906, and it is from these that I have chiefly drawn.

Unless he contemplated publication it was not his practice to write a lecture out. His customary lectures were strictly oral, and his notes, for the most part, are memoranda for speech. But he was tempted now and then to put his thought into an aphorism, to elaborate an illustration, or to fix the outline of a situation or a character, and out of such windfalls and . . .

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