The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters: English Literary Life Since 1800

Overview

In this new edition of his landmark book, John Gross traces the shifting fortunes of the men who shaped literary opinion in England during the Victorian, Edwardian, and contemporary eras. He brings together famous or forgotten critics and editors—prophets, aesthetes, statesmen, dons, radicals, social climbers, idealists, gossipmongers, and literary lions—and explores not only their critical ideas but also their personalities, careers, social backgrounds, and politics. He looks at "the higher journalism;" the ...
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Overview

In this new edition of his landmark book, John Gross traces the shifting fortunes of the men who shaped literary opinion in England during the Victorian, Edwardian, and contemporary eras. He brings together famous or forgotten critics and editors—prophets, aesthetes, statesmen, dons, radicals, social climbers, idealists, gossipmongers, and literary lions—and explores not only their critical ideas but also their personalities, careers, social backgrounds, and politics. He looks at "the higher journalism;" the expansion of the reading public, the byways of British liberalism, and the rise of literature as an academic subject, and the impact of modernism. In all a remarkable survey, to which Mr. Gross has now added updates on several literary careers, the new style of critics who have evolved from the universities, and the dominant role of the media. "A brilliant account of English literary culture which is as engaging as it is illuminating"—Lionel Trilling. "Extremely readable.... The book is strewn with marvelous bits: deft aperçus, biographical portraits of great subtlety and force, wit, commonsensical intelligence everywhere. It is a book that no one who cares about the state of literature can afford to neglect."—Joseph Epstein.
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Editorial Reviews

Isaiah Berlin
A very intelligent, interesting, and intensely readable book.
The New York Review Of Books - Noel Annan
No praise can be too high...remarkable for its balance and sense of perspective.
Joseph Epstein
Strewn with marvelous bits: deft apercus, biographical portraits of great subtlety and force, wit, commonsensical intelligence everywhere. No one who cares about the state of literature can afford to neglect this book.
Lionel Trilling
A brilliant account of English literary culture, as engaging as it is illuminating.
New York Review Of Books
No praise can be too high...remarkable for its balance and sense of perspective.
— Noel Annan
The New York Review Of Books
No praise can be too high...remarkable for its balance and sense of perspective.
— Noel Annan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566630009
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/25/1992
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,461,257
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

John Gross is theatre critic of the Sunday Telegraph and former editor of the Times Literary Supplement. For a number of years he was also a staff writer for the New York Times in New York. His other books include the classic study The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters, and the widely acclaimed Shylock: Four Hundred Years in the Life of a Legend. He lives in London.
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