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"He still tries to be urbane and succeeds in being only official; at his most characteristic and terrible moments today he no longer knows who is talking-himself or the British Empire. The identification of the two in his own mind is complete. . . To Mr. Gosse, in brief, art is not an expression and so a manifestation and form of life, but a cultural discipline of the mind and taste and the weighty adornment of a stately and static civilization."
"He is not, like certain other veterans of the intellectual life, an august figure, but he is without a trace of the bitterness, the narrowness, the querulousness that more frequently characterize old age; and if he cannot be thought of as a great critic, since he neither communicates the ecstasy of literature nor elucidates the laws that underlie it, he has perhaps no equal as a constantly intelligent, felicitous, picturesque, and open-minded essayist."
"Mr. Gosse's genius lies in painting social portraits of men of letters. In this delightful kind he is our finest essayist and our finest literary biographer." -The Nation
"He would be a rash prophet who should pronounce any book of Mr. Gosse's the last, but it is difficult to conceive anything from his pen more mature than Aspects and Impressions If Mr. Gosse had undertaken to select from his ample storehouse, essays to illustrate his method of criticism, to summarize his activity during so many fruitful years, he could not have made a more significant collection." -The New Republic
"In his particular genre he is unsurpassed by any writer of our day. He is a master of the art of easy and familiar discourse. Talk flows from him-reminiscence, anecdote, incidental criticism-with a copious facility that never degenerates into garrulity. This new volume contains notable things, perfect in their several kinds. Its most perfect pages are those in which Mr. Gosse recounts, with a tenderness that is never uncritical and with an irony that is never untender, the chief events in the career of his friend Henry James." -New Statesman
"Mr. Gosse never shows off. He never has the appearance of seeking rather to impress the reader than to elucidate his theme or to develop his thesis. He never wishes to show you. all at once, what a number of sights he has seen and places he has been to, and books he has read... He is a master of irony in all its strengths, so to speak, from the irony which is used as a lethal weapon of offence to the irony which smiles affectionately at a foible of a friend, a foible as dear as a virtue He may use it in indignation or use it in affection, but it is in the texture of his writing, almost always visible to the discerning eye." -Saturday Review