Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Critical Essay towards the Understanding of His Poetry

Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Critical Essay towards the Understanding of His Poetry

Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Critical Essay towards the Understanding of His Poetry

Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Critical Essay towards the Understanding of His Poetry

Excerpt

The purpose of this essay is indicated by its subtitle. By analysing Hopkins's mind, his attitude towards reality, the avowed aim of his poetry, I hope to have succeeded in making this poet more accessible and more intelligible. He should not be a poets' poet only: his poetry is too rich for that.

It will be clear that only through the kindness of many could this book have been written. Father Martin D'Arcy gave me every facility to study the autograph papers of Hopkins at Campion Hall, Oxford. The librarians of the Amsterdam University Library, the British Museum Library, the Bodleian Library and the Glasgow University Library never failed in courtesy and were ever ready to help me. Mr. A. G. van Kranendonk, Professor of English Literature at the University of Amsterdam, zealously watched the growth of my book and carefully read the manuscript. To all of them I am very grateful.

Though many of their names are only mentioned in the bibliography and some of them occur in the text only to be attacked as adversaries, yet I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to the authors of books and articles on Hopkins. It is impossible to trace how much I owe them exactly, but there can be no doubt that their studies have been very stimulating and must have contributed both to my choice of the subject and the way in which I have treated it.

Special thanks are due to Mr. G. W. S. Hopkins. He took an interest in this study from its very first stages when he gave me free access to all the autograph papers of Hopkins in his possession, down to the actual printing of it, which also means that he saved it from being destroyed by bombs. I only hope that the final result is, in some slight way at least, worthy of his great and lovable uncle.

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