English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World
by William J. Long
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Though Carlyle set himself against the spirit of his age, calling the famous Reform Bill a "progress into darkness," and democracy "the rule of the worst rather than the best," his rough sincerity was unquestioned, and his remarks were more quoted than those of any other living man. He was supported, moreover, by a rare circle of friends,—Edward Irving, Southey, Sterling, Landor, Leigh Hunt, Dickens, Mill, Tennyson, Browning, and, most helpful of all, Emerson, who had visited Carlyle at Craigenputtoch in 1833. It was due largely to Emerson's influence that Carlyle's works were better appreciated, and brought better financial rewards, in America than in England.

Carlyle's fame reached its climax in the monumental History of Frederick the Great (1858-1865), published after thirteen years of solitary toil, which, in his own words, "made entire devastation of home life and happiness." The proudest moment of his life was when he was elected to succeed Gladstone as lord rector of Edinburgh University, in 1865, the year in which Frederick the Great was finished. In the midst of his triumph, and while he was in Scotland to deliver his inaugural address, his happiness was suddenly destroyed by the death of his wife,—a terrible blow, from which he never recovered. He lived on for fifteen years, shorn of his strength and interest in life; and his closing hours were like the dull sunset of a November day. Only as we remember his grief and remorse at the death of the companion who had shared his toil but not his triumph, can we understand the sorrow that pervades the pages of his Reminiscences. He died in 1881, and at his own wish was buried, not in Westminster Abbey, but among his humble kinsfolk in Ecclefechan. However much we may differ from his philosophy or regret the harshness of his minor works, we shall probably all agree in this sentiment from one of his own letters,—that the object of all his struggle and writing was "that men should find out and believe the truth, and match their lives to it."

WORKS OF CARLYLE. There are two widely different judgments of Carlyle as a man and a writer. The first, which is founded largely on his minor writings, like Chartism, Latter-Day Pamphlets, and Shooting Niagara, declares that he is a misanthrope and dyspeptic with a barbarous style of writing; that he denounces progress, democracy, science, America, Darwin, —everybody and everything that he does not understand; that his literary opinions are largely prejudices; that he began as a prophet and ended as a scold; and that in denouncing shams of every sort he was something of a sham himself, since his practice was not in accord with his own preaching. The second judgment, which is founded upon Heroes and Hero Worship, Cromwell, and Sartor Resartus, declares that these works are the supreme manifestation of genius; that their rugged, picturesque style makes others look feeble or colorless by comparison; and that the author is the greatest teacher, leader, and prophet of the nineteenth century.

Somewhere between these two extremes will be found the truth about Carlyle. We only note here that, while there are some grounds for the first unfavorable criticism, we are to judge an author by his best rather than by his worst work; and that a man's aims as well as his accomplishments must be taken into consideration. As it is written, "Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart." Whatever the defects of Carlyle and his work, in his heart he was always planning a house or temple to the God of truth and justice.

Carlyle's important works may be divided into three general classes,— critical and literary essays, historical works, and Sartor Resartus, the last being in a class by itself, since there is nothing like it in literature. To these should be added a biography, the admirable Life of John Sterling, and Carlyle's Letters and Reminiscences, which are more interesting and suggestive than some of his better known works. We omit here all consideration of translations, and his intemperate denunciations of men and institutions in Chartism, Latter-Day Pamphlets, and other essays, which add nothing to the author's fame or influence.

Of the essays, which are all characterized by Carlyle's zeal to get at the heart of things, and to reveal the soul rather than the works of a writer, the best are those on "Burns," "Scott," "Novalis," "Goethe," "Characteristics," "Signs of the Times," and "Boswell's Life of Johnson."[244] In the famous Essay on Burns, which is generally selected for special study, we note four significant things: (1) Carlyle is peculiarly well fitted for his task, having many points in common with his hero. (2) In most of his work Carlyle, by his style and mannerisms and positive opinions, generally attracts our attention away from his subject; but in this essay he shows himself capable of forgetting himself for a moment. To an unusual extent he sticks to his subject, and makes us think of Burns rather than of Carlyle. The style, though unpolished, is fairly simple and readable, and is free from the breaks, crudities, ejaculations, and general "nodulosities" which disfigure much of his work. (3) Carlyle has an original and interesting theory of biography and criticism. The object of criticism is to show the man himself, his aims, ideals, and outlook on the universe; the object of biography is "to show what and how produced was the effect of society upon him; what and how produced was his effect on society." (4) Carlyle is often severe, even harsh, in his estimates of other men, but in this case the tragedy of Burns's "life of fragments" attracts and softens him. He grows enthusiastic and—a rare thing for Carlyle—apologizes for his enthusiasm in the striking sentence, "We love Burns, and we pity him; and love and pity are prone to magnify." So he gives us the most tender and appreciative of his essays, and one of the most illuminating criticisms of Burns that has appeared in our language.

The central idea of Carlyle's historical works is found in his Heroes and Hero Worship (1841), his most widely read book. "Universal history," he says, "is at bottom the history of the great men who have worked here." To get at the truth of history we must study not movements but men, and read not state papers but the biographies of heroes. His summary of history as presented in this work has six divisions: (1) The Hero as Divinity, having for its general subject Odin, the "type Norseman," who, Carlyle thinks, was some old heroic chief, afterwards deified by his countrymen; (2) The Hero as Prophet, treating of Mahomet and the rise of Islam; (3) The Hero as Poet, in which Dante and Shakespeare are taken as types; (4) The Hero as Priest, or religious leader, in which Luther appears as the hero of the Reformation, and Knox as the hero of Puritanism; (5) The Hero as Man of Letters, in which we have the curious choice of Johnson, Rousseau, and Burns; (6) The Hero as King, in which Cromwell and Napoleon appear as the heroes of reform by revolution.

It is needless to say that Heroes is not a book of history; neither is it scientifically written in the manner of Gibbon. With science in any form Carlyle had no patience; and he miscalculated the value of that patient search for facts and evidence which science undertakes before building any theories, either of kings or cabbages. The book, therefore, abounds in errors; but they are the errors of carelessness and are perhaps of small consequence. His misconception of history, however, is more serious. With the modern idea of history, as the growth of freedom among all classes, he has no sympathy. The progress of democracy was to him an evil thing, a "turning of the face towards darkness and anarchy." At certain periods, according to Carlyle, God sends us geniuses, sometimes as priests or poets, sometimes as soldiers or statesmen; but in whatever guise they appear, these are our real rulers. He shows, moreover, that whenever such men appear, multitudes follow them, and that a man's following is a sure index of his heroism and kingship.

Whether we agree with Carlyle or not, we must accept for the moment his peculiar view of history, else Heroes can never open its treasures to us. The book abounds in startling ideas, expressed with originality and power, and is pervaded throughout by an atmosphere of intense moral earnestness. The more we read it, the more we find to admire and to remember.

Carlyle's French Revolution (1837) is to be taken more seriously as a historical work; but here again his hero worship comes to the front, and his book is a series of flashlights thrown upon men in dramatic situations, rather than a tracing of causes to their consequences. The very titles of his chapters—"Astraea Redux," "Windbags," "Broglie the War God"—do violence to our conception of history, and are more suggestive of Carlyle's individualism than of French history. He is here the preacher rather than the historian; his text is the eternal justice; and his message is that all wrongdoing is inevitably followed by vengeance. His method is intensely dramatic. From a mass of historical details he selects a few picturesque incidents and striking figures, and his vivid pictures of the storming of the Bastille, the rush of the mob to Versailles, the death of Louis XVI, and the Reign of Terror, seem like the work of an eyewitness describing some terrible catastrophe. At times, as it portrays Danton, Robespierre, and the great characters of the tragedy, Carlyle's work is suggestive of an historical play of Shakespeare; and again, as it describes the rush and riot of men led by elemental passion, it is more like a great prose epic. Though not a reliable history in any sense, it is one of the most dramatic and stirring narratives in our language.

Two other historical works deserve at least a passing notice. The History of Frederick the Great (1858-1865), in six volumes, is a colossal picture of the life and times of the hero of the Prussian Empire. Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches is, in our personal judgment, Carlyle's best historical work. His idea is to present the very soul of the great Puritan leader. He gives us, as of first importance, Cromwell's own words, and connects them by a commentary in which other men and events are described with vigor and vividness. Cromwell was one of Carlyle's greatest heroes, and in this case he is most careful to present the facts which occasion his own enthusiasm. The result is, on the whole, the most lifelike picture of a great historical character that we possess. Other historians had heaped calumny upon Cromwell till the English public regarded him with prejudice and horror; and it is an indication of Carlyle's power that by a single book he revolutionized England's opinion of one of her greatest men.

Carlyle's Sartor Resartus (1834), his only creative work, is a mixture of philosophy and romance, of wisdom and nonsense,—a chaotic jumble of the author's thoughts, feelings, and experiences during the first thirty-five years of his life. The title, which means "The Tailor Patched-up," is taken from an old Scotch song. The hero is Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh, a German professor at the University of Weissnichtwo (don't know where); the narrative concerns this queer professor's life and opinions; and the central thought of the book is the philosophy of clothes, which are considered symbolically as the outward expression of spirit. Thus, man's body is the outward garment of his soul, and the universe is the visible garment of the invisible God. The arrangement of Sartor is clumsy and hard to follow. In order to leave himself free to bring in everything he thought about, Carlyle assumed the position of one who was translating and editing the old professor's manuscripts, which are supposed to consist of numerous sheets stuffed into twelve paper bags, each labeled with a sign of the zodiac. The editor pretends to make order out of this chaos; but he is free to jump from one subject to another and to state the most startling opinion by simply using quotation marks and adding a note that he is not responsible for Teufelsdroeckh's crazy notions,—which are in reality Carlyle's own dreams and ideals. Partly because of the matter, which is sometimes incoherent, partly because of the style, which, though picturesque, is sometimes confused and ungrammatical, Sartor is not easy reading; but it amply repays whatever time and study we give to it. Many of its passages are more like poetry than prose; and one cannot read such chapters as "The Everlasting No," "The Everlasting Yea," "Reminiscences," and "Natural Supernaturalism," and be quite the same man afterwards; for Carlyle's thought has entered into him, and he walks henceforth more gently, more reverently through the world, as in the presence of the Eternal.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS. Concerning Carlyle's style there are almost as many opinions as there are readers. This is partly because he impresses different people in widely different ways, and partly because his expression varies greatly. At times he is calm, persuasive, grimly humorous, as if conversing; at other times, wildly exclamatory, as if he were shouting and waving his arms at the reader. We have spoken of Macaulay's style as that of the finished orator, and we might reasonably speak of Carlyle's as that of the exhorter, who cares little for methods so long as he makes a strong impression on his hearers. "Every sentence is alive to its finger tips," writes a modern critic; and though Carlyle often violates the rules of grammar and rhetoric, we can well afford to let an original genius express his own intense conviction in his own vivid and picturesque way.

Carlyle's message may be summed up in two imperatives,—labor, and be sincere. He lectured and wrote chiefly for the upper classes who had begun to think, somewhat sentimentally, of the conditions of the laboring men of the world; and he demanded for the latter, not charity or pity, but justice and honor. All labor, whether of head or hand, is divine; and labor alone justifies a man as a son of earth and heaven. To society, which Carlyle thought to be occupied wholly with conventional affairs, he came with the stamp of sincerity, calling upon men to lay aside hypocrisy and to think and speak and live the truth. He had none of Addison's delicate satire and humor, and in his fury at what he thought was false he was generally unsympathetic and often harsh; but we must not forget that Thackeray—who knew society much better than did Carlyle—gave a very unflattering picture of it in Vanity Fair and The Book of Snobs. Apparently the age needed plain speaking, and Carlyle furnished it in scripture measure. Harriet Martineau, who knew the world for which Carlyle wrote, summed up his influence when she said that he had "infused into the mind of the English nation ... sincerity, earnestness, healthfulness, and courage." If we add to the above message Carlyle's conceptions of the world as governed by a God of justice who never forgets, and of human history as "an inarticulate Bible," slowly revealing the divine purpose, we shall understand better the force of his ethical appeal and the profound influence he exercised on the moral and intellectual life of the past century.

JOHN RUSKIN (1819-1900)

In approaching the study of Ruskin we are to remember, first of all, that we are dealing with a great and good man, who is himself more inspiring than any of his books. In some respects he is like his friend Carlyle, whose disciple he acknowledged himself to be; but he is broader in his sympathies, and in every way more hopeful, helpful, and humane. Thus, in the face of the drudgery and poverty of the competitive system, Carlyle proposed, with the grim satire of Swift's "Modest Proposal," to organize an annual hunt in which successful people should shoot the unfortunate, and to use the game for the support of the army and navy. Ruskin, facing the same problem, wrote: "I will endure it no longer quietly; but henceforward, with any few or many who will help, do my best to abate this misery." Then, leaving the field of art criticism, where he was the acknowledged leader, he begins to write of labor and justice; gives his fortune in charity, in establishing schools and libraries; and founds his St. George's Guild of workingmen, to put in practice the principles of brotherhood and cooperation for which he and Carlyle contended. Though his style marks him as one of the masters of English prose, he is generally studied not as a literary man but as an ethical teacher, and we shall hardly appreciate his works unless we see behind every book the figure of the heroically sincere man who wrote it.

LIFE. Ruskin was born in London, in 1819. His father was a prosperous wine merchant who gained a fortune in trade, and who spent his leisure hours in the company of good books and pictures. On his tombstone one may still read this inscription written by Ruskin: "He was an entirely honest merchant and his memory is to all who keep it dear and helpful. His son, whom he loved to the uttermost and taught to speak truth, says this of him." Ruskin's mother, a devout and somewhat austere woman, brought her son up with Puritanical strictness, not forgetting Solomon's injunction that "the rod and reproof give wisdom."

Of Ruskin's early years at Herne Hill, on the outskirts of London, it is better to read his own interesting record in Praeterita. It was in some respects a cramped and lonely childhood, but certain things which strongly molded his character are worthy of mention. First, he was taught by word and example in all things to speak the truth, and he never forgot the lesson. Second, he had few toys, and spent much time in studying the leaves, the flowers, the grass, the clouds, even the figures and colors of the carpet, and so laid the foundation for that minute and accurate observation which is manifest in all his writings. Third, he was educated first by his mother, then by private tutors, and so missed the discipline of the public schools. The influence of this lonely training is evident in all his work. Like Carlyle, he is often too positive and dogmatic,—the result of failing to test his work by the standards of other men of his age. Fourth, he was obliged to read the Bible every day and to learn long passages verbatim. The result of this training was, he says, "to make every word of the Scriptures familiar to my ear in habitual music." We can hardly read a page of his later work without finding some reflection of the noble simplicity or vivid imagery of the sacred records. Fifth, he traveled much with his father and mother, and his innate love of nature was intensified by what he saw on his leisurely journeys through the most beautiful parts of England and the Continent.

Ruskin entered Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1836, when only seventeen years old. He was at this time a shy, sensitive boy, a lover of nature and of every art which reflects nature, but almost entirely ignorant of the ways of boys and men. An attack of consumption, with which he had long been threatened, caused him to leave Oxford in 1840, and for nearly two years he wandered over Italy searching for health and cheerfulness, and gathering materials for the first volume of Modern Painters, the book that made him famous.

Ruskin's literary work began in childhood, when he was encouraged to write freely in prose and poetry. A volume of poems illustrated by his own drawings was published in 1859, after he had won fame as a prose writer, but, save for the drawings, it is of small importance. The first volume of Modern Painters (1843) was begun as a heated defense of the artist Turner, but it developed into an essay on art as a true picture of nature, "not only in her outward aspect but in her inward spirit." The work, which was signed simply "Oxford Graduate," aroused a storm of mingled approval and protest; but however much critics warred over its theories of art, all were agreed that the unknown author was a master of descriptive prose. Ruskin now made frequent trips to the art galleries of the Continent, and produced four more volumes of Modern Painters during the next seventeen years. Meanwhile he wrote other books,—Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849), Stones of Venice (1851-1853), Pre-Raphaelitism, and numerous lectures and essays, which gave him a place in the world of art similar to that held by Matthew Arnold in the world of letters. In 1869 he was appointed professor of art at Oxford, a position which greatly increased his prestige and influence, not only among students but among a great variety of people who heard his lectures and read his published works. Lectures on Art, Aratra Pentelici (lectures on sculpture), Ariadne Florentina (lectures on engraving), Michael Angela and Tintoret, The Art of England, Val d'Arno (lectures on Tuscan art), St. Mark's Rest (a history of Venice), Mornings in Florence (studies in Christian art, now much used as a guidebook to the picture galleries of Florence), The Laws of Fiesole (a treatise on drawing and painting for schools), Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Pleasures of England,—all these works on art show Ruskin's literary industry. And we must also record Love's Meinie (a study of birds), Proserpina (a study of flowers), Deucalion (a study of waves and stones), besides various essays on political economy which indicate that Ruskin, like Arnold, had begun to consider the practical problems of his age.

At the height of his fame, in 1860, Ruskin turned for a time from art, to consider questions of wealth and labor,—terms which were used glibly by the economists of the age without much thought for their fundamental meaning. "There is no wealth but life," announced Ruskin,—"life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration. That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings." Such a doctrine, proclaimed by Goldsmith in his Deserted Village, was regarded as a pretty sentiment, but coming from one of the greatest leaders and teachers of England it was like a bombshell. Ruskin wrote four essays establishing this doctrine and pleading for a more socialistic form of government in which reform might be possible. The essays were published in the Cornhill Magazine, of which Thackeray was editor, and they aroused such a storm that the publication was discontinued. Ruskin then published the essays in book form, with the title Unto This Last, in 1862. Munera Pulveris (1862) was another work in which the principles of capital and labor and the evils of the competitive system were discussed in such a way that the author was denounced as a visionary or a madman. Other works of this practical period are Time and Tide, Fors Clavigera, Sesame and Lilies, and the Crown of Wild Olive.

The latter part of Ruskin's life was a time of increasing sadness, due partly to the failure of his plans, and partly to public attacks upon his motives or upon his sanity. He grew bitter at first, as his critics ridiculed or denounced his principles, and at times his voice is as querulous as that of Carlyle. We are to remember, however, the conditions under which he struggled. His health had been shattered by successive attacks of disease; he had been disappointed in love; his marriage was unhappy; and his work seemed a failure. He had given nearly all his fortune in charity, and the poor were more numerous than ever before. His famous St. George's Guild was not successful, and the tyranny of the competitive system seemed too deeply rooted to be overthrown. On the death of his mother he left London and, in 1879, retired to Brantwood, on Coniston Lake, in the beautiful region beloved of Wordsworth. Here he passed the last quiet years of his life under the care of his cousin, Mrs. Severn, the "angel of the house," and wrote, at Professor Norton's suggestion, Praeterita, one of his most interesting books, in which he describes the events of his youth from his own view point. He died quietly in 1900, and was buried, as he wished, without funeral pomp or public ceremony, in the little churchyard at Coniston.

WORKS OF RUSKIN. There are three little books which, in popular favor, stand first on the list of Ruskin's numerous works,—Ethics-of-the-Dust, a series of Lectures to Little Housewives, which appeals most to women; Crown of Wild Olive, three lectures on Work, Traffic, and War, which appeals to thoughtful men facing the problems of work and duty; and Sesame and Lilies, which appeals to men and women alike. The last is the most widely known of Ruskin's works and the best with which to begin our reading.

The first thing we notice in Sesame and Lilies is the symbolical title. "Sesame," taken from the story of the robbers' cave in the Arabian Nights, means a secret word or talisman which unlocks a treasure house. It was intended, no doubt, to introduce the first part of the work, called "Of Kings' Treasuries," which treats of books and reading. "Lilies," taken from Isaiah as a symbol of beauty, purity, and peace, introduces the second lecture, "Of Queens' Gardens," which is an exquisite study of woman's life and education. These two lectures properly constitute the book, but a third is added, on "The Mystery of Life." The last begins in a monologue upon his own failures in life, and is pervaded by an atmosphere of sadness, sometimes of pessimism, quite different from the spirit of the other two lectures.

Though the theme of the first lecture is books, Ruskin manages to present to his audience his whole philosophy of life. He gives us, with a wealth of detail, a description of what constitutes a real book; he looks into the meaning of words, and teaches us how to read, using a selection from Milton's Lycidas as an illustration. This study of words gives us the key with which we are to unlock "Kings' Treasuries," that is, the books which contain the precious thoughts of the kingly minds of all ages. He shows the real meaning and end of education, the value of labor and of a purpose in life; he treats of nature, science, art, literature, religion; he defines the purpose of government, showing that soul-life, not money or trade, is the measure of national greatness; and he criticises the general injustice of his age, quoting a heartrending story of toil and suffering from the newspapers to show how close his theory is to daily needs. Here is an astonishing variety in a small compass; but there is no confusion. Ruskin's mind was wonderfully analytical, and one subject develops naturally from the other.

In the second lecture, "Of Queens' Gardens," he considers the question of woman's place and education, which Tennyson had attempted to answer in The Princess. Ruskin's theory is that the purpose of all education is to acquire power to bless and to redeem human society; and that in this noble work woman must always play the leading part. He searches all literature for illustrations, and his description of literary heroines, especially of Shakespeare's perfect women, is unrivaled. Ruskin is always at his best in writing of women or for women, and the lofty idealism of this essay, together with its rare beauty of expression, makes it, on the whole, the most delightful and inspiring of his works.

Among Ruskin's practical works the reader will find in Fors Clavigera, a series of letters to workingmen, and Unto This Last, four essays on the principles of political economy, the substance of his economic teachings. In the latter work, starting with the proposition that our present competitive system centers about the idea of wealth, Ruskin tries to find out what wealth is; and the pith of his teaching is this,—that men are of more account than money; that a man's real wealth is found in his soul; not in his pocket; and that the prime object of life and labor is "the producing of as many as possible full-breathed, bright-eyed, and happy- hearted human creatures." To make this ideal practical, Ruskin makes four suggestions: (1) that training schools be established to teach young men and women three things,—the laws and practice of health, habits of gentleness and justice, and the trade or calling by which they are to live; (2) that the government establish farms and workshops for the production of all the necessaries of life, where only good and honest work shall be tolerated and where a standard of work and wages shall be maintained; (3) that any person out of employment shall be received at the nearest government school: if ignorant he shall be educated, and if competent to do any work he shall have the opportunity to do it; (4) that comfortable homes be provided for the sick and for the aged, and that this be done in justice, not in charity. A laborer serves his country as truly as does a soldier or a statesman, and a pension should be no more disgraceful in one case than in the other.

Among Ruskin's numerous books treating of art, we recommend the Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849), Stones of Venice (1851-1853), and the first two volumes of Modern Painters (1843-1846). With Ruskin's art theories, which, as Sydney Smith prophesied, "worked a complete revolution in the world of taste," we need not concern ourselves here. We simply point out four principles that are manifest in all his work: (1) that the object of art, as of every other human endeavor, is to find and to express the truth; (2) that art, in order to be true, must break away from conventionalities and copy nature; (3) that morality is closely allied with art, and that a careful study of any art reveals the moral strength or weakness of the people that produced it; (4) that the main purpose of art is not to delight a few cultured people but to serve the daily uses of common life. "The giving brightness to pictures is much," he says, "but the giving brightness to life is more." In this attempt to make art serve the practical ends of life, Ruskin is allied with all the great writers of the period, who use literature as the instrument of human progress.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS. One who reads Ruskin is in a state of mind analogous to that of a man who goes through a picture gallery, pausing now to admire a face or a landscape for its own sake, and again to marvel at the technical skill of the artist, without regard to his subject. For Ruskin is a great literary artist and a great ethical teacher, and we admire one page for its style, and the next for its message to humanity. The best of his prose, which one may find in the descriptive passages of Praeterita and Modern Painters, is written in a richly ornate style, with a wealth of figures and allusions, and at times a rhythmic, melodious quality which makes it almost equal to poetry. Ruskin had a rare sensitiveness to beauty in every form, and more, perhaps, than any other writer in our language, he has helped us to see and appreciate the beauty of the world around us.

As for Ruskin's ethical teaching, it appears in so many forms and in so many different works that any summary must appear inadequate. For a full half century he was "the apostle of beauty" in England, and the beauty for which he pleaded was never sensuous or pagan, as in the Renaissance, but always spiritual, appealing to the soul of man rather than to his eyes, leading to better work and better living. In his economic essays Ruskin is even more directly and positively ethical. To mitigate the evils of the unreasonable competitive system under which we labor and sorrow; to bring master and man together in mutual trust and helpfulness; to seek beauty, truth, goodness as the chief ends of life, and, having found them, to make our characters correspond; to share the best treasures of art and literature with rich and poor alike; to labor always, and, whether we work with hand or head, to do our work in praise of something that we love,— this sums up Ruskin's purpose and message. And the best of it is that, like Chaucer's country parson, he practiced his doctrine before he preached it.

MATTHEW ARNOLD (1822-1888)

In the world of literature Arnold has occupied for many years an authoritative position as critic and teacher, similar to that held by Ruskin in the world of art. In his literary work two very different moods are manifest. In his poetry he reflects the doubt of an age which witnessed the conflict between science and revealed religion. Apparently he never passed through any such decisive personal struggle as is recorded in Sartor Resartus, and he has no positive conviction such as is voiced in "The Everlasting Yea." He is beset by doubts which he never settles, and his poems generally express sorrow or regret or resignation. In his prose he shows the cavalier spirit,—aggressive, light-hearted, self-confident. Like Carlyle, he dislikes shams, and protests against what he calls the barbarisms of society; but he writes with a light touch, using satire and banter as the better part of his argument. Carlyle denounces with the zeal of a Hebrew prophet, and lets you know that you are hopelessly lost if you reject his message. Arnold is more like the cultivated Greek; his voice is soft, his speech suave, but he leaves the impression, if you happen to differ with him, that you must be deficient in culture. Both these men, so different in spirit and methods, confronted the same problems, sought the same ends, and were dominated by the same moral sincerity.

LIFE. Arnold was born in Laleham, in the valley of the Thames, in 1822. His father was Dr. Thomas Arnold, head master of Rugby, with whom many of us have grown familiar by reading Tom Brown's School Days. After fitting for the university at Winchester and at Rugby, Arnold entered Balliol College, Oxford, where he was distinguished by winning prizes in poetry and by general excellence in the classics. More than any other poet Arnold reflects the spirit of his university. "The Scholar-Gipsy" and "Thyrsis" contain many references to Oxford and the surrounding country, but they are more noticeable for their spirit of aloofness,—as if Oxford men were too much occupied with classic dreams and ideals to concern themselves with the practical affairs of life.

After leaving the university Arnold first taught the classics at Rugby; then, in 1847, he became private secretary to Lord Lansdowne, who appointed the young poet to the position of inspector of schools under the government. In this position Arnold worked patiently for the next thirty- five years, traveling about the country, examining teachers, and correcting endless examination papers. For ten years (1857-1867) he was professor of poetry at Oxford, where his famous lectures On Translating Homer were given. He made numerous reports on English and foreign schools, and was three times sent abroad to study educational methods on the Continent. From this it will be seen that Arnold led a busy, often a laborious life, and we can appreciate his statement that all his best literary work was done late at night, after a day of drudgery. It is well to remember that, while Carlyle was preaching about labor, Arnold labored daily; that his work was cheerfully and patiently done; and that after the day's work he hurried away, like Lamb, to the Elysian fields of literature. He was happily married, loved his home, and especially loved children, was free from all bitterness and envy, and, notwithstanding his cold manner, was at heart sincere, generous, and true. We shall appreciate his work better if we can see the man himself behind all that he has written.

Arnold's literary work divides itself into three periods, which we may call the poetical, the critical, and the practical. He had written poetry since his school days, and his first volume, The Strayed Reveller and Other Poems, appeared anonymously in 1849. Three years later he published Empedocles on Etna and other Poems; but only a few copies of these volumes were sold, and presently both were withdrawn from circulation. In 1853-1855 he published his signed Poems, and twelve years later appeared his last volume of poetry. Compared with the early work of Tennyson, these works met with little favor, and Arnold practically abandoned poetry in favor of critical writing.

The chief works of his critical period are the lectures On Translating Homer (1861) and the two volumes of Essays in Criticism (1865-1888), which made Arnold one of the best known literary men in England. Then, like Ruskin, he turned to practical questions, and his Friendship's Garland (1871) was intended to satirize and perhaps reform the great middle class of England, whom he called the Philistines. Culture and Anarchy, the most characteristic work of his practical period, appeared in 1869. These were followed by four books on religious subjects,—St. Paul and Protestantism (1870), Literature and Dogma (1873), God and the Bible (1875), and Last Essays on Church and Religion (1877). The Discourses in America (1885) completes the list of his important works. At the height of his fame and influence he died suddenly, in 1888, and was buried in the churchyard at Laleham. The spirit of his whole life is well expressed in a few lines of one of his own early sonnets:

One lesson, Nature, let me learn of thee, One lesson which in every wind is blown, One lesson of two duties kept at one Though the loud world proclaim their enmity— Of toil unsever'd from tranquillity; Of labour, that in lasting fruit outgrows Far noisier schemes, accomplish'd in repose, Too great for haste, too high for rivalry.

WORKS OF MATTHEW ARNOLD. We shall better appreciate Arnold's poetry if we remember two things: First, he had been taught in his home a simple and devout faith in revealed religion, and in college he was thrown into a world of doubt and questioning. He faced these doubts honestly, reverently,—in his heart longing to accept the faith of his fathers, but in his head demanding proof and scientific exactness. The same struggle between head and heart, between reason and intuition, goes on to-day, and that is one reason why Arnold's poetry, which wavers on the borderland between doubt and faith, is a favorite with many readers. Second, Arnold, as shown in his essay on The Study of Poetry, regarded poetry as "a criticism of life under the conditions fixed for such criticism by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty." Naturally, one who regards poetry as a "criticism" will write very differently from one who regards poetry as the natural language of the soul. He will write for the head rather than for the heart, and will be cold and critical rather than enthusiastic. According to Arnold, each poem should be a unit, and he protested against the tendency of English poets to use brilliant phrases and figures of speech which only detract attention from the poem as a whole. For his models he went to Greek poetry, which he regarded as "the only sure guidance to what is sound and true in poetical art." Arnold is, however, more indebted than he thinks to English masters, especially to Wordsworth and Milton, whose influence is noticeable in a large part of his poetry.

Of Arnold's narrative poems the two best known are Balder Dead (1855), an incursion into the field of Norse mythology which is suggestive of Gray, and Sohrab and Rustum (1853), which takes us into the field of legendary Persian history. The theme of the latter poem is taken from the Shah- Namah (Book of Kings) of the Persian poet Firdausi, who lived and wrote in the eleventh century.

Briefly, the story is of one Rustem or Rustum, a Persian Achilles, who fell asleep one day when he had grown weary of hunting. While he slept a band of robbers stole his favorite horse, Ruksh. In trailing the robbers Rustum came to the palace of the king of Samengan, where he was royally welcomed, and where he fell in love with the king's daughter, Temineh, and married her. But he was of a roving, adventurous disposition, and soon went back to fight among his own people, the Persians. While he was gone his son Sohrab was born, grew to manhood, and became the hero of the Turan army. War arose between the two peoples, and two hostile armies were encamped by the Oxus. Each army chose a champion, and Rustum and Sohrab found themselves matched in mortal combat between the lines. At this point Sohrab, whose chief interest in life was to find his father, demanded to know if his enemy were not Rustum; but the latter was disguised and denied his identity. On the first day of the fight Rustum was overcome, but his life was spared by a trick and by the generosity of Sohrab. On the second day Rustum prevailed, and mortally wounded his antagonist. Then he recognized his own son by a gold bracelet which he had long ago given to his wife Temineh. The two armies, rushing into battle, were stopped by the sight of father and son weeping in each other's arms. Sohrab died, the war ceased, and Rustum went home to a life of sorrow and remorse.

Using this interesting material, Arnold produced a poem which has the rare and difficult combination of classic reserve and romantic feeling. It is written in blank verse, and one has only to read the first few lines to see that the poet is not a master of his instrument. The lines are seldom harmonious, and we must frequently change the accent of common words, or lay stress on unimportant particles, to show the rhythm. Arnold frequently copies Milton, especially in his repetition of ideas and phrases; but the poem as a whole is lacking in Milton's wonderful melody.

The classic influence on Sohrab and Rustum is especially noticeable in Arnold's use of materials. Fights are short; grief is long; therefore the poet gives few lines to the combat, but lingers over the son's joy at finding his father, and the father's quenchless sorrow at the death of his son. The last lines especially, with their "passionate grief set to solemn music," make this poem one of the best, on the whole, that Arnold has written. And the exquisite ending, where the Oxus, unmindful of the trivial strifes of men, flows on sedately to join "his luminous home of waters" is most suggestive of the poet's conception of the orderly life of nature, in contrast with the doubt and restlessness of human life.

Next in importance to the narrative poems are the elegies, "Thyrsis," "The Scholar-Gipsy," "Memorial Verses," "A Southern Night," "Obermann," "Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse," and "Rugby Chapel." All these are worthy of careful reading, but the best is "Thyrsis," a lament for the poet Clough, which is sometimes classed with Milton's Lycidas and Shelley's Adonais. Among the minor poems the reader will find the best expression of Arnold's ideals and methods in "Dover Beach," the love lyrics entitled "Switzerland," "Requiescat," "Shakespeare," "The Future," "Kensington Gardens," "Philomela," "Human Life," "Callicles's Song," "Morality," and "Geist's Grave."—the last being an exquisite tribute to a little dog which, like all his kind, had repaid our scant crumbs of affection with a whole life's devotion.

The first place among Arnold's prose works must be given to the Essays in Criticism, which raised the author to the front rank of living critics. His fundamental idea of criticism appeals to us strongly. The business of criticism, he says, is neither to find fault nor to display the critic's own learning or influence; it is to know "the best which has been thought and said in the world," and by using this knowledge to create a current of fresh and free thought. If a choice must be made among these essays, which are all worthy of study, we would suggest "The Study of Poetry," "Wordsworth," "Byron," and "Emerson." The last-named essay, which is found in the Discourses in America, is hardly a satisfactory estimate of Emerson, but its singular charm of manner and its atmosphere of intellectual culture make it perhaps the most characteristic of Arnold's prose writings.

Among the works of Arnold's practical period there are two which may be taken as typical of all the rest. Literature and Dogma (1873) is, in general, a plea for liberality in religion. Arnold would have us read the Bible, for instance, as we would read any other great work, and apply to it the ordinary standards of literary criticism.

Culture and Anarchy (1869) contains most of the terms—culture, sweetness and light, Barbarian, Philistine, Hebraism, and many others—which are now associated with Arnold's work and influence. The term "Barbarian" refers to the aristocratic classes, whom Arnold thought to be essentially crude in soul, notwithstanding their good clothes and superficial graces. "Philistine" refers to the middle classes,—narrow-minded and self-satisfied people, according to Arnold, whom he satirizes with the idea of opening their minds to new ideas. "Hebraism" is Arnold's term for moral education. Carlyle had emphasized the Hebraic or moral element in life, and Arnold undertook to preach the Hellenic or intellectual element, which welcomes new ideas, and delights in the arts that reflect the beauty of the world. "The uppermost idea with. Hellenism," he says, "is to see things as they are; the uppermost idea with Hebraism is conduct and obedience." With great clearness, sometimes with great force, and always with a play of humor and raillery aimed at the "Philistines," Arnold pleads for both these elements in life which together aim at "Culture," that is, at moral and intellectual perfection.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS. Arnold's influence in our literature may be summed up, in a word, as intellectual rather than inspirational. One cannot be enthusiastic over his poetry, for the simple reason that he himself lacked enthusiasm. He is, however, a true reflection of a very real mood of the past century, the mood of doubt and sorrow; and a future generation may give him a higher place than he now holds as a poet. Though marked by "the elemental note of sadness," all Arnold's poems are distinguished by clearness, simplicity, and the restrained emotion of his classic models.

As a prose writer the cold intellectual quality, which mars his poetry by restraining romantic feeling, is of first importance, since it leads him to approach literature with an open mind and with the single desire to find "the best which has been thought and said in the world." We cannot yet speak with confidence of his rank in literature; but by his crystal-clear style, his scientific spirit of inquiry and comparison, illumined here and there by the play of humor, and especially by his broad sympathy and intellectual culture, he seems destined to occupy a very high place among the masters of literary criticism.


Any record of the prose literature of the Victorian era, which includes the historical essays of Macaulay and the art criticism of Ruskin, should contain also some notice of its spiritual leaders. For there was never a time when the religious ideals that inspire the race were kept more constantly before men's minds through the medium of literature.

Among the religious writers of the age the first place belongs unquestionably to Cardinal Newman. Whether we consider him as a man, with his powerful yet gracious personality, or as a religious reformer, who did much to break down old religious prejudices by showing the underlying beauty and consistency of the Roman church, or as a prose writer whose style is as near perfection as we have ever reached, Newman is one of the most interesting figures of the whole nineteenth century.

LIFE. Three things stand out clearly in Newman's life: first, his unshaken faith in the divine companionship and guidance; second, his desire to find and to teach the truth of revealed religion; third, his quest of an authoritative standard of faith, which should remain steadfast through the changing centuries and amid all sorts and conditions of men. The first led to that rare and beautiful spiritual quality which shines in all his work; the second to his frequent doctrinal and controversial essays; the third to his conversion to the Catholic church, which he served as priest and teacher for the last forty-five years of his life. Perhaps we should add one more characteristic,—the practical bent of his religion; for he was never so busy with study or controversy that he neglected to give a large part of his time to gentle ministration among the poor and needy.

He was born in London, in 1801. His father was an English banker; his mother, a member of a French Huguenot family, was a thoughtful, devout woman, who brought up her son in a way which suggests the mother of Ruskin. Of his early training, his reading of doctrinal and argumentative works, and of his isolation from material things in the thought that there were "two and only two absolute and luminously self-evident beings in the world," himself and his Creator, it is better to read his own record in the Apologia, which is a kind of spiritual biography.

At the age of fifteen Newman had begun his profound study of theological subjects. For science, literature, art, nature,—all the broad interests which attracted other literary men of his age,—he cared little, his mind being wholly occupied with the history and doctrines of the Christian church, to which he had already devoted his life. He was educated first at the school in Ealing, then at Oxford, taking his degree in the latter place in 1820. Though his college career was not more brilliant than that of many unknown men, his unusual ability was recognized and he was made a fellow of Oriel College, retaining the fellowship, and leading a scholarly life for over twenty years. In 1824 he was ordained in the Anglican church, and four years later was chosen vicar of St. Mary's, at Oxford, where his sermons made a deep impression on the cultivated audiences that gathered from far and near to hear him.

A change is noticeable in Newman's life after his trip to the Mediterranean in 1832. He had begun his life as a Calvinist, but while in Oxford, then the center of religious unrest, he described himself as "drifting in the direction of Liberalism." Then study and bereavement and an innate mysticism led him to a profound sympathy with the mediaeval Church. He had from the beginning opposed Catholicism; but during his visit to Italy, where he saw the Roman church at the center of Its power and splendor, many of his prejudices were overcome. In this enlargement of his spiritual horizon Newman was greatly influenced by his friend Hurrell Froude, with whom he made the first part of the journey. His poems of this period (afterwards collected in the Lyra Apostolica), among which is the famous "Lead, Kindly Light," are noticeable for their radiant spirituality; but one who reads them carefully sees the beginning of that mental struggle which ended in his leaving the church in which he was born. Thus he writes of the Catholic church, whose services he had attended as "one who in a foreign land receives the gifts of a good Samaritan":

O that thy creed were sound! For thou dost soothe the heart, thou church of Rome, By thy unwearied watch and varied round Of service, in thy Saviour's holy home. I cannot walk the city's sultry streets, But the wide porch invites to still retreats, Where passion's thirst is calmed, and care's unthankful gloom.

On his return to England, in 1833, he entered into the religious struggle known as the Oxford or Tractarian Movement,[245] and speedily became its acknowledged leader. Those who wish to follow this attempt at religious reform, which profoundly affected the life of the whole English church, will find it recorded in the Tracts for the Times, twenty-nine of which were written by Newman, and in his Parochial and Plain Sermons (1837- 1843). After nine years of spiritual conflict Newman retired to Littlemore, where, with a few followers, he led a life of almost monastic seclusion, still striving to reconcile his changing belief with the doctrines of his own church. Two years later he resigned his charge at St. Mary's and left the Anglican communion,—not bitterly, but with a deep and tender regret. His last sermon at Littlemore on "The Parting of Friends" still moves us profoundly, like the cry of a prophet torn by personal anguish in the face of duty. In 1845 he was received into the Catholic church, and the following year, at Rome, he joined the community of St. Philip Neri, "the saint of gentleness and kindness," as Newman describes him, and was ordained to the Roman priesthood.

By his preaching and writing Newman had exercised a strong influence over his cultivated English hearers, and the effect of his conversion was tremendous. Into the theological controversy of the next twenty years we have no mind to enter. Through it all Newman retained his serenity, and, though a master of irony and satire, kept his literary power always subordinate to his chief aim, which was to establish the truth as he saw it. Whether or not we agree with his conclusions, we must all admire the spirit of the man, which is above praise or criticism. His most widely read work, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864), was written in answer to an unfortunate attack by Charles Kingsley, which would long since have been forgotten had it not led to this remarkable book. In 1854 Newman was appointed rector of the Catholic University in Dublin, but after four years returned to England and founded a Catholic school at Edgbaston. In 1879 he was made cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. The grace and dignity of his life, quite as much as the sincerity of his Apologia, had long since disarmed criticism, and at his death, in 1890, the thought of all England might well be expressed by his own lines in "The Dream of Gerontius":

I had a dream. Yes, some one softly said, "He's gone," and then a sigh went round the room; And then I surely heard a priestly voice Cry Subvenite; and they knelt in prayer.

WORKS OF NEWMAN. Readers approach Newman from so many different motives, some for doctrine, some for argument, some for a pure prose style, that it is difficult to recommend the best works for the beginner's use. As an expression of Newman's spiritual struggle the Apologia Pro Vita Sua is perhaps the most significant. This book is not light reading and one who opens it should understand clearly the reasons for which it was written. Newman had been accused of insincerity, not only by Kingsley but by many other men, in the public press. His retirement to solitude and meditation at Littlemore had been outrageously misunderstood, and it was openly charged that his conversion was a cunningly devised plot to win a large number of his followers to the Catholic church. This charge involved others, and it was to defend them, as well as to vindicate himself, that Newman wrote the Apologia. The perfect sincerity with which he traced his religious history, showing that his conversion was only the final step in a course he had been following since boyhood, silenced his critics and revolutionized public opinion concerning himself and the church which he had joined. As the revelation of a soul's history, and as a model of pure, simple, unaffected English, this book, entirely apart from its doctrinal teaching, deserves a high place in our prose literature.

In Newman's doctrinal works, the Via Media, the Grammar of Assent, and in numerous controversial essays the student of literature will have little interest. Much more significant are his sermons, the unconscious reflection of a rare spiritual nature, of which Professor Shairp said: "His power shows itself clearly in the new and unlooked-for way in which he touched into life old truths, moral or spiritual.... And as he spoke, how the old truth became new! and how it came home with a meaning never felt before! He laid his finger how gently yet how powerfully on some inner place in the hearer's heart, and told him things about himself he had never known till then. Subtlest truths, which would have taken philosophers pages of circumlocution and big words to state, were dropped out by the way in a sentence or two of the most transparent Saxon." Of greater interest to the general reader are The Idea of a University, discourses delivered at Dublin, and his two works of fiction, Loss and Gain, treating of a man's conversion to Catholicism, and Callista, which is, in his own words, "an attempt to express the feelings and mutual relations of Christians and heathens in the middle of the third century." The latter is, in our judgment, the most readable and interesting of Newman's works. The character of Callista, a beautiful Greek sculptor of idols, is powerfully delineated; the style is clear and transparent as air, and the story of the heroine's conversion and death makes one of the most fascinating chapters in fiction, though it is not the story so much as the author's unconscious revelation of himself that charms us. It would be well to read this novel in connection with Kingsley's Hypatia, which attempts to reconstruct the life and ideals of the same period.

Newman's poems are not so well known as his prose, but the reader who examines the Lyra Apostolica and Verses on Various Occasions will find many short poems that stir a religious nature profoundly by their pure and lofty imagination; and future generations may pronounce one of these poems, "The Dream of Gerontius," to be Newman's most enduring work. This poem aims to reproduce the thoughts and feelings of a man whose soul is just quitting the body, and who is just beginning a new and greater life. Both in style and in thought "The Dream" is a powerful and original poem and is worthy of attention not only for itself but, as a modern critic suggests, "as a revelation of that high spiritual purpose which animated Newman's life from beginning to end."

Of Newman's style it is as difficult to write as it would be to describe the dress of a gentleman we had met, who was so perfectly dressed that we paid no attention to his clothes. His style is called transparent, because at first we are not conscious of his manner; and unobtrusive, because we never think of Newman himself, but only of the subject he is discussing. He is like the best French prose writers in expressing his thought with such naturalness and apparent ease that, without thinking of style, we receive exactly the impression which he means to convey. In his sermons and essays he is wonderfully simple and direct; in his controversial writings, gently ironical and satiric, and the satire is pervaded by a delicate humor; but when his feelings are aroused he speaks with poetic images and symbols, and his eloquence is like that of the Old Testament prophets. Like Ruskin's, his style is modeled largely on that of the Bible, but not even Ruskin equals him in the poetic beauty and melody of his sentences. On the whole he comes nearer than any other of his age to our ideal of a perfect prose writer.

OTHER ESSAYISTS OF THE VICTORIAN AGE. We have selected the above five essayists, Macaulay, Carlyle, Arnold, Newman, and Ruskin, as representative writers of the Victorian Age; but there are many others who well repay our study. Notable among these are John Addington Symonds, author of The Renaissance in Italy, undoubtedly his greatest work, and of many critical essays; Walter Pater, whose Appreciations and numerous other works mark him as one of our best literary critics; and Leslie Stephen, famous for his work on the monumental Dictionary of National Biography, and for his Hours in a Library, a series of impartial and excellent criticisms, brightened by the play of an original and delightful humor.

Among the most famous writers of the age are the scientists, Lyell, Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, Tyndall, and Wallace,—a wonderful group of men whose works, though they hardly belong to our present study, have exercised an incalculable influence on our life and literature. Darwin's Origin of Species (1859), which apparently established the theory of evolution, was an epoch-making book. It revolutionized not only our conceptions of natural history, but also our methods of thinking on all the problems of human society. Those who would read a summary of the greatest scientific discovery of the age will find it in Wallace's Darwinism,—a most interesting book, written by the man who claims, with Darwin, the honor of first announcing the principle of evolution. And, from a multitude of scientific works, we recommend also to the general reader Huxley's Autobiography and his Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews, partly because they are excellent expressions of the spirit and methods of science, and partly because Huxley as a writer is perhaps the clearest and the most readable of the scientists.

THE SPIRIT OF MODERN LITERATURE. As we reflect on the varied work of the Victorian writers, three marked characteristics invite our attention. First, our great literary men, no less than our great scientists, have made truth the supreme object of human endeavor. All these eager poets, novelists, and essayists, questing over so many different ways, are equally intent on discovering the truth of life. Men as far apart as Darwin and Newman are strangely alike in spirit, one seeking truth in the natural, the other in the spiritual history of the race. Second, literature has become the mirror of truth; and the first requirement of every serious novel or essay is to be true to the life or the facts which it represents. Third, literature has become animated by a definite moral purpose. It is not enough for the Victorian writers to create or attempt an artistic work for its own sake; the work must have a definite lesson for humanity. The poets are not only singers, but leaders; they hold up an ideal, and they compel men to recognize and follow it. The novelists tell a story which pictures human life, and at the same time call us to the work Of social reform, or drive home a moral lesson. The essayists are nearly all prophets or teachers, and use literature as the chief instrument of progress and education. Among them all we find comparatively little of the exuberant fancy, the romantic ardor, and the boyish gladness of the Elizabethans. They write books not primarily to delight the artistic sense, but to give bread to the hungry and water to the thirsty in soul. Milton's famous sentence, "A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit," might be written across the whole Victorian era. We are still too near these writers to judge how far their work suffers artistically from their practical purpose; but this much is certain,—that whether or not they created immortal works, their books have made the present world a better and a happier place to live in. And that is perhaps the best that can be said of the work of any artist or artisan.

SUMMARY OF THE VICTORIAN AGE. The year 1830 is generally placed at the beginning of this period, but its limits are very indefinite. In general we may think of it as covering the reign of Victoria (1837-1901). Historically the age is remarkable for the growth of democracy following the Reform Bill of 1832; for the spread of education among all classes; for the rapid development of the arts and sciences; for important mechanical inventions; and for the enormous extension of the bounds of human knowledge by the discoveries of science.

At the accession of Victoria the romantic movement had spent its force; Wordsworth had written his best work; the other romantic poets, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron, had passed away; and for a time no new development was apparent in English poetry. Though the Victorian Age produced two great poets, Tennyson and Browning, the age, as a whole, is remarkable for the variety and excellence of its prose. A study of all the great writers of the period reveals four general characteristics: (1) Literature in this Age has come very close to daily life, reflecting its practical problems and interests, and is a powerful instrument of human progress. (2) The tendency of literature is strongly ethical; all the great poets, novelists, and essayists of the age are moral teachers. (3) Science in this age exercises an incalculable influence. On the one hand it emphasizes truth as the sole object of human endeavor; it has established the principle of law throughout the universe; and it has given us an entirely new view of life, as summed up in the word "evolution," that is, the principle of growth or development from simple to complex forms. On the other hand, its first effect seems to be to discourage works of the imagination. Though the age produced an incredible number of books, very few of them belong among the great creative works of literature. (4) Though the age is generally characterized as practical and materialistic, it is significant that nearly all the writers whom the nation delights to honor vigorously attack materialism, and exalt a purely ideal conception of life. On the whole, we are inclined to call this an idealistic age fundamentally, since love, truth, justice, brotherhood—all great ideals—are emphasized as the chief ends of life, not only by its poets but also by its novelists and essayists.

In our study we have considered: (1) The Poets; the life and works of Tennyson and Browning; and the chief characteristics of the minor poets, Elizabeth Barrett (Mrs. Browning), Rossetti, Morris, and Swinburne. (2) The Novelists; the life and works of Dickens, Thackeray, and George Eliot; and the chief works of Charles Reade, Anthony Trollope, Charlotte Bronte, Bulwer-Lytton, Kingsley, Mrs. Gaskell, Blackmore, George Meredith, Hardy, and Stevenson. (3) The Essayists; the life and works of Macaulay, Matthew Arnold, Carlyle, Newman, and Ruskin. These were selected, from among many essayists and miscellaneous writers, as most typical of the Victorian Age. The great scientists, like Lyell, Darwin, Huxley, Wallace, Tyndall, and Spencer, hardly belong to our study of literature, though their works are of vast importance; and we omit the works of living writers who belong to the present rather than to the past century.

SELECTIONS FOR READING. Manly's English Poetry and Manly's English Prose (Ginn and Company) contain excellent selections from all authors of this period. Many other collections, like Ward's English Poets, Garnett's English Prose from Elizabeth to Victoria, Page's British Poets of the Nineteenth Century, and Stedman's A Victorian Anthology, may be used to advantage. All important works may be found in the convenient and inexpensive school editions given below. (For full titles and publishers see the General Bibliography.)

Tennyson. Short poems, and selections from Idylls of the King, In Memoriam, Enoch Arden, and The Princess. These are found in various school editions, Standard English Classics, Pocket Classics, Riverside Literature Series, etc. Poems by Tennyson, selected and edited with notes by Henry Van Dyke (Athenaeum Press Series), is an excellent little volume for beginners.

Browning. Selections, edited by R.M. Lovett, in Standard English Classics. Other school editions in Everyman's Library, Belles Lettres Series, etc.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Selections, edited by Elizabeth Lee, in Standard English Classics. Selections also in Pocket Classics, etc.

Matthew Arnold. Sohrab and Rustum, edited by Trent and Brewster, in Standard English Classics. The same poem in Riverside Literature Series, etc. Selections in Golden Treasury Series, etc. Poems, students' edition (Crowell). Essays in Everyman's Library, etc. Prose selections (Holt, Allyn & Bacon, etc.).

Dickens. Tale of Two Cities, edited by J.W. Linn, in Standard English Classics. A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and Pickwick Papers. Various good school editions of these novels in Everyman's Library, etc.

Thackeray. Henry Esmond, edited by H.B. Moore, in Standard English Classics. The same novel, in Everyman's Library, Pocket Classics, etc.

George Eliot. Silas Marner, edited by R. Adelaide Witham, in Standard English Classics. The same novel, in Pocket Classics, etc.

Carlyle. Essay on Burns, edited by C.L. Hanson, in Standard English Classics, and Heroes and Hero Worship, edited by A. MacMechan, in Athenaeum Press Series. Selections, edited by H.W. Boynton (Allyn & Bacon). Various other inexpensive editions, in Pocket Classics, Eclectic English Classics, etc.

Ruskin. Sesame and Lilies, edited by Lois G. Hufford, in Standard English Classics. Other editions in Riverside Literature, Everyman's Library, etc. Selected Essays and Letters, edited by Hufford, in Standard English Classics. Selections, edited by Vida D. Scudder (Sibley); edited by C.B. Tinker, in Riverside Literature.

Macaulay. Essays on Addison and Milton, edited by H.A. Smith, in Standard English Classics. Same essays, in Cassell's National Library, Riverside Literature, etc. Lays of Ancient Rome, in Standard English Classics, Pocket Classics, etc.

Newman. Selections, with introduction by L.E. Gates (Holt); Selections from prose and poetry, in Riverside Literature. The Idea of a University, in Manly's English Prose.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. (note. For full titles and publishers of general reference books, see General Bibliography.) HISTORY. Text-book, Montgomery, pp. 357-383; Cheyney, pp. 632-643. General Works. Gardiner, and Traill. Special Works. McCarthy's History of Our Own Times; Bright's History of England, vols. 4-5; Lee's Queen Victoria; Bryce's Studies in Contemporary Biography.

LITERATURE. General Works. Garnett and Gosse, Taine. Special Works. Harrison's Early Victorian Literature; Saintsbury's A History of Nineteenth Century Literature; Walker's The Age of Tennyson; same author's The Greater Victorian Poets; Morley's Literature of the Age of Victoria; Stedman's Victorian Poets; Mrs. Oliphant's Literary History of England in the Nineteenth Century; Beers's English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century; Dowden's Victorian Literature, in Transcripts and Studies; Brownell's Victorian Prose Masters.

Tennyson. Texts: Cabinet edition (London, 1897) is the standard. Various good editions, Globe, Cambridge Poets, etc. Selections in Athenaeum Press (Ginn and Company).

Life: Alfred Lord Tennyson, a Memoir by his son, is the standard; by Lyall (in English Men of Letters); by Horton; by Waugh. See also Anne T. Ritchie's Tennyson and His Friends; Napier's The Homes and Haunts of Tennyson; Rawnsley's Memories of the Tennysons.

Criticism: Brooke's Tennyson, his Art and his Relation to Modern Life; A. Lang's Alfred Tennyson; Van Dyke's The Poetry of Tennyson; Sneath's The Mind of Tennyson; Gwynn's A Critical Study of Tennyson's Works; Luce's Handbook to Tennyson's Works; Dixon's A Tennyson Primer; Masterman's Tennyson as a Religious Teacher; Collins's The Early Poems of Tennyson; Macallum's Tennyson's Idylls of the King and the Arthurian Story; Bradley's Commentary on In Memoriam; Bagehot's Literary Studies, vol. 2; Brightwell's Concordance; Shepherd's Bibliography.

Essays: By F. Harrison, in Tennyson, Ruskin, Mill, and Other Literary Estimates; by Stedman, in Victorian Poets; by Hutton, in Literary Essays; by Dowden, in Studies in Literature; by Gates, in Studies and Appreciations; by Forster, in Great Teachers; by Forman, in Our Living Poets. See also Myers's Science and a Future Life.

Browning. Texts: Cambridge and Globe editions, etc. Various editions of selections. (See Selections for Reading, above.)

Life: by W. Sharp (Great Writers); by Chesterton (English Men of Letters); Life and Letters, by Mrs. Sutherland Orr; by Waugh, in Westminster Biographies (Small & Maynard).

Criticism: Symons's An Introduction to the Study of Browning; same title, by Corson; Mrs. Orr's Handbook to the Works of Browning; Nettleship's Robert Browning; Brooke's The Poetry of Robert Browning; Cooke's Browning Guide Book; Revell's Browning's Criticism of Life; Berdoe's Browning's Message to his Times; Berdoe's Browning Cyclopedia.

Essays: by Hutton, Stedman, Dowden, Forster (for titles, see Tennyson, above); by Jacobs, in Literary Studies; by Chapman, in Emerson and Other Essays; by Cooke, in Poets and Problems; by Birrell, in Obiter Dicta.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Texts: Globe and Cambridge editions, etc.; various editions of selections. Life: by J. H. Ingram; see also Bayne's Two Great Englishmen. Kenyon's Letters of E. B. Browning.

Criticism: Essays, by Stedman, in Victorian Poets; by Benson, in Essays.

Matthew Arnold. Texts: Poems, Globe edition, etc. See Selections for Reading, above. Life: by Russell; by Saintsbury; by Paul (English Men of Letters); Letters, by Russell.

Criticism: Essays by Woodberry, in Makers of Literature; by Gates, in Three Studies in Literature; by Hutton, in Modern Guides of English Thought; by Brownell, in Victorian Prose Masters; by F. Harrison (see Tennyson, above).

Dickens. Texts: numerous good editions of novels. Life: by J. Forster; by Marzials (Great Writers); by Ward (English Men of Letters); Langton's The Childhood and Youth of Dickens.

Criticism: Gissing's Charles Dickens; Chesterton's Charles Dickens; Kitten's The Novels of Charles Dickens; Fitzgerald's The History of Pickwick. Essays: by F. Harrison (see above); by Bagehot, in Literary Studies; by Lilly, in Four English Humorists; by A. Lang, in Gadshill edition of Dickens's works.

Thackeray. Texts: numerous good editions of novels and essays. Life: by Melville; by Merivale and Marzials (Great Writers); by A. Trollope (English Men of Letters); by L. Stephen, in Dictionary of National Biography. See also Crowe's Homes and Haunts of Thackeray; Wilson's Thackeray in the United States.

Criticism: Essays, by Lilly, in Four English Humorists; by Harrison, in Studies in Early Victorian Literature; by Scudder, in Social Ideals in English Letters; by Brownell, in Victorian Prose Masters.

George Eliot. Texts: numerous editions. Life: by L. Stephen (English Men of Letters); by O. Browning (Great Writers); by her husband, J.W. Cross.

Criticism: Cooke's George Eliot, a Critical Study of her Life and Writings. Essays: by J. Jacobs, in Literary Studies; by H. James, in Partial Portraits; by Dowden, in Studies in Literature; by Hutton, Harrison, Brownell, Lilly (see above). See also Parkinson's Scenes from the George Eliot Country.

Carlyle. Texts: various editions of works. Heroes, and Sartor Resartus, in Athenaeum Press (Ginn and Company); Sartor, and Past and Present, 1 vol. (Harper); Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 1 vol. (Appleton); Letters and Reminiscences, edited by C. E. Norton, 6 vols. (Macmillan).

Life: by Garnett (Great Writers); by Nichol (English Men of Letters); by Froude, 2 vols. (very full, but not trustworthy). See also Carlyle's Reminiscences and Correspondence, and Craig's The Making of Carlyle.

Criticism: Masson's Carlyle Personally and in his Writings. Essays: by Lowell, in My Study Windows; by Harrison, Brownell, Hutton, Lilly (see above).

Ruskin. Texts: Brantwood edition, edited by C.E. Norton; various editions of separate works. Life: by Harrison (English Men of Letters); by Collingwood, 2 vols.; see also Ruskin's Praeterita.

Criticism: Mather's Ruskin, his Life and Teaching; Cooke's Studies in Ruskin; Waldstein's The Work of John Ruskin; Hobson's John Ruskin, Social Reformer; Mrs. Meynell's John Ruskin; Sizeranne's Ruskin and the Religion of Beauty, translated from the French; White's Principles of Art; W. M. Rossetti's Ruskin, Rossetti, and Pre-Raphaelitism.

Essays: by Robertson, in Modern Humanists; by Saintsbury, in Corrected Impressions; by Brownell, Harrison, Forster (see above).

Macaulay. Texts: Complete works, edited by his sister, Lady Trevelyan (London, 1866); various editions of separate works (see Selections for Reading, above). Life: Life and Letters, by Trevelyan, 2 vols.; by Morrison (English Men of Letters).

Criticism: Essays, by Bagehot, in Literary Studies; by L. Stephen, in Hours in a Library; by Saintsbury, in Corrected Impressions; by Harrison, in Studies in Early Victorian Literature; by Matthew Arnold.

Newman. Texts: Uniform edition of important works (London, 1868-1881); Apologia (Longmans); Selections (Holt, Riverside Literature, etc.). Life: Jennings's Cardinal Newman; Button's Cardinal Newman; Early Life, by F. Newman; by Waller and Barrow, in Westminster Biographies. See also Church's The Oxford Movement; Fitzgerald's Fifty Years of Catholic Life and Progress.

Criticism: Essays, by Donaldson, in Five Great Oxford Leaders; by Church, in Occasional Papers, vol. 2; by Gates, in Three Studies in Literature; by Jacobs, in Literary Studies; by Hutton, in Modern Guides of English Thought; by Lilly, in Essays and Speeches; by Shairp, in Studies in Poetry and Philosophy. See also Button's Cardinal Newman.

Rossetti. Works, 2 vols. (London, 1901). Selections, in Golden Treasury Series. Life: by Knight (Great Writers); by Sharp; Hall Caine's Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Gary's The Rossettis; Marillier's Rossetti; Wood's Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Movement; W.M. Hunt's Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Criticism: Tirebuck's Rossetti, his Work and Influence. Essays: by Swinburne, in Essays and Studies; by Forman, in Our Living Poets; by Pater, in Ward's English Poets; by F.W.H. Myers, in Essays Modern.

Morris. Texts: Story of the Glittering Plain, House of the Wolfings, etc. (Reeves & Turner); Early Romances, in Everyman's Library; Sigurd the Volsung, in Camelot Series; Socialistic writings (Humboldt Publishing Co.). Life: by Mackail; by Cary; by Vallance.

Criticism: Essays, by Symons, in Studies in Two Literatures; by Dawson, in Makers of Modern English; by Saintsbury, in Corrected Impressions. See also Nordby's Influence of Old Norse Literature.

Swinburne. Texts: Complete works (Chatto and Windus); Poems and Ballads (Lovell); Selections (Rivington, Belles Lettres Series, etc.). Life: Wratislaw's Algernon Charles Swinburne, a Study.

Criticism: Essays, by Forman, Saintsbury (see above); by Lowell, in My Study Windows; see also Stedman's Victorian Poets.

Charles Keade. Texts: Cloister and the Hearth, in Everyman's Library; various editions of separate novels. Life: by C. Reade.

Criticism: Essay, by Swinburne, in Miscellanies.

Anthony Trollope. Texts: Royal edition of principal novels (Philadelphia, 1900); Barchester Towers, etc., in Everyman's Library. Life: Autobiography (Harper, 1883).

Criticism: H.T. Peck's Introduction to Royal edition, vol. 1. Essays: by H. James, in Partial Portraits; by Harrison, in Early Victorian Literature. See also Cross, The Development of the English Novel.

Charlotte and Emily Bronte. Texts: Works, Haworth edition, edited by Mrs. H. Ward (Harper); Complete works (Dent, 1893); Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Wuthering Heights, in Everyman's Library. Life of Charlotte Bronte: by Mrs. Gaskell; by Shorter; by Birrell (Great Writers). Life of Emily Bronte: by Robinson. See also Leyland's The Bronte Family.

Criticism: Essays, by L. Stephen, in Hours in a Library; by Gates, in Studies and Appreciations; by Harrison, in Early Victorian Literature; by G.B. Smith, in Poets and Novelists. See also Swinburne's A Note on Charlotte Bronte.

Bulwer-Lytton. Texts: Works, Knebsworth edition (Routledge); various editions of separate works; Last Days of Pompeii, etc., in Everyman's Library. Life: by his son, the Earl of Lytton; by Cooper; by Ten Brink.

Criticism: Essay, by W. Senior, in Essays in Fiction.

Mrs. Gaskell. Various editions of separate works; Cranford, in Standard English Classics, etc. Life: see Dictionary of National Biography. Criticism: see Saintsbury's Nineteenth-Century Literature.

Kingsley. Texts: Works, Chester edition; Hypatia, Westward Ho! etc., in Everyman's Library. Life: Letters and Memories, by his wife; by Kaufmann.

Criticism: Essays, by Harrison, in Early Victorian Literature; by L. Stephen, in Hours in a Library.

Stevenson. Texts: Works (Scribner); Treasure Island, in Everyman's Library; Master of Ballantrae, in Pocket Classics; Letters, edited by Colvin (Scribner). Life: by Balfour; by Baildon; by Black; by Cornford. See also Simpson's Edinburgh Days; Eraser's In Stevenson's Samoa; Osborne and Strong's Memories of Vailima.

Criticism: Raleigh's Stevenson; Alice Brown's Stevenson. Essays: by H. James, in Partial Portraits; by Chapman, in Emerson and Other Essays.

Hardy. Texts: Works (Harper). Criticism: Macdonnell's Thomas Hardy; Johnson's The Art of Thomas Hardy. See also Windle's The Wessex of Thomas Hardy; and Dawson's Makers of English Fiction.

George Meredith. Texts: Novels and Selected Poems (Scribner).

Criticism: Le Gallienne's George Meredith; Hannah Lynch's George Meredith. Essays: by Henley, in Views and Reviews; by Brownell, in Victorian Prose Masters; by Monkhouse, in Books and Plays. See also Bailey's The Novels of George Meredith; Curie's Aspects of George Meredith; and Cross's The Development of the English Novel.

SUGGESTIVE QUESTIONS. (NOTE. The best questions are those which are based upon the books, essays, and poems read by the pupil. As the works chosen for special study vary greatly with different teachers and classes, we insert here only a few questions of general interest.) 1. What are the chief characteristics of Victorian literature? Name the chief writers of the period in prose and poetry. What books of this period are, in your judgment, worthy to be placed among the great works of literature? What effect did the discoveries of science have upon the literature of the age? What poet reflects the new conception of law and evolution? What historical conditions account for the fact that most of the Victorian writers are ethical teachers?

2. Tennyson. Give a brief sketch of Tennyson's life, and name his chief works. Why is he, like Chaucer, a national poet? Is your pleasure in reading Tennyson due chiefly to the thought or the melody of expression? Note this figure in "The Lotos Eaters":

Music that gentlier on the spirit lies Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes.

What does this suggest concerning Tennyson's figures of speech in general? Compare "Locksley Hall" with "Locksley Hall Sixty Years After." What differences do you find in thought, in workmanship, and in poetic enthusiasm? What is Tennyson's idea of faith and immortality as expressed in In Memoriam?

3. Browning. In what respects is Browning like Shakespeare? What is meant by the optimism of his poetry? Can you explain why many thoughtful persons prefer him to Tennyson? What is Browning's creed as expressed in "Rabbi Ben Ezra"? Read "Fra Lippo Lippi" or "Andrea del Sarto," and tell what is meant by a dramatic monologue. In "Andrea" what is meant by the lines,

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?

4. Dickens. What experiences in Dickens's life are reflected in his novels? What are his favorite types of character? What is meant by the exaggeration of Dickens? What was the serious purpose of his novels? Make a brief analysis of the Tale of Two Cities, having in mind the plot, the characters, and the style, as compared with Dickens's other novels.

5. Thackeray. Read Henry Esmond and explain Thackeray's realism. What is there remarkable in the style of this novel? Compare it with Ivanhoe as a historical novel. What is the general character of Thackeray's satire? What are the chief characteristics of his novels? Describe briefly the works which show his great skill as a critical writer.

6. George Eliot. Read Silas Marner and make a brief analysis, having in mind the plot, the characters, the style, and the ethical teaching of the novel. Is the moral teaching of George Eliot convincing; that is, does it suggest itself from the story, or is it added for effect? What is the general impression left by her books? How do her characters compare with those of Dickens and Thackeray?

7. Carlyle. Why is Carlyle called a prophet, and why a censor? Read the Essay on Burns and make an analysis, having in mind the style, the idea of criticism, and the picture which this essay presents of the Scotch poet. Is Carlyle chiefly interested in Burns or in his poetry? Does he show any marked appreciation of Burns's power as a lyric poet? What is Carlyle's idea of history as shown in Heroes and Hero Worship? What experiences of his own life are reflected in Sartor Resartus? What was Carlyle's message to his age? What is meant by a "Carlylese" style?

8. Macaulay. In what respects is Macaulay typical of his age? Compare his view of life with that of Carlyle. Read one of the essays, on Milton or Addison, and make an analysis, having in mind the style, the interest, and the accuracy of the essay. What useful purpose does Macaulay's historical knowledge serve in writing his literary essays? What is the general character of Macaulay's History of England? Rqad a chapter from Macaulay's History, another from Carlyle's French Revolution, and compare the two. How does each writer regard history and historical writing? What differences do you note in their methods? What are the best qualities of each work? Why are both unreliable?

9. Arnold. What elements of Victorian life are reflected in Arnold's poetry? How do you account for the coldness and sadness of his verses? Read Sohrab and Rustum and write an account of it, having in mind the story, Arnold's use of his material, the style, and the classic elements in the poem. How does it compare in melody with the blank verse of Milton or Tennyson? What marked contrasts do you find between the poetry and the prose of Arnold?

10. Ruskin. In what respects is Ruskin "the prophet of modern society"? Read the first two lectures in Sesame and Lilies and then give Ruskin's views of labor, wealth, books, education, woman's sphere, and human society. How does he regard the commercialism of his age? What elements of style do you find in these lectures? Give the chief resemblances and differences between Carlyle and Ruskin.

11. Read Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford and describe it, having in mind the style, the interest, and the characters of the story. How does it compare, as a picture of country life, with George Eliot's novels?

12. Read Blackmore's Lorna Doone and describe it (as in the question above). What are the romantic elements in the story? How does it compare with Scott's romances in style, in plot, in interest, and in truthfulness to life?

CHRONOLOGY Nineteenth Century ============================================================================ HISTORY LITERATURE 1825. Macaulay's Essay on Milton 1826. Mrs. Browning's early poems 1830. William IV 1830. Tennyson's Poems, Chiefly Lyrical 1832. Reform Bill 1833. Browning's Pauline 1833-1834. Carlyle's Sartor Resartus 1836-1865. Dickens's novels 1837. Victoria (d. 1901) 1837. Carlyle's French Revolution 1843. Macaulay's essays 1844. Morse's Telegraph 1843-1860. Ruskin's Modern Painters 1846. Repeal of Corn Laws 1847-1859. Thackeray's important novels 1847-1857. Charlotte Bronte's novels 1848-1861. Macaulay's History 1853. Kingsley's Hypatia Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford 1854. Crimean War 1853-1855. Matthew Arnold's poems 1856. Mrs. Browning's Aurora Leigh 1857. Indian Mutiny 1858-1876. George Eliot's novels 1859-1888. Tennyson's Idylls of the King 1859. Darwin's Origin of Species 1864. Newman's Apologia Tennyson's Enoch Arden 1865-1888. Arnold's Essays in Criticism 1867. Dominion of Canada established 1868. Browning's Ring and the Book 1869. Blackmore's Lorna Doone 1870. Government schools established 1879. Meredith's The Egoist 1880. Gladstone prime minister 1883. Stevenson's Treasure Island 1885. Ruskin's Praeterita begun 1887. Queen's jubilee 1889. Browning's last work, Asolando 1892. Death of Tennyson 1901. Edward VII ============================================================================

* * * * *


Every chapter in this book includes two lists, one of selected readings, the other of special works treating of the history and literature of the period under consideration. The following lists include the books most useful for general reference work and for supplementary reading.

A knowledge of history is of great advantage in the study of literature. In each of the preceding chapters we have given a brief summary of historical events and social conditions, but the student should do more than simply read these summaries. He should review rapidly the whole history of each period by means of a good textbook. Montgomery's English History and Cheyney's Short History of England are recommended, but any other reliable text-book will serve the purpose.

For literary texts and selections for reading a few general collections, such as are given below, are useful; but the important works of each author may now be obtained in excellent and inexpensive school editions. At the beginning of the course the teacher, or the home student, should write for the latest catalogue of such publications as the Standard English Classics, Everyman's Library, etc., which offer a very wide range of reading at small cost. Nearly every publishing house issues a series of good English books for school use, and the list is constantly increasing.


Text-books: Montgomery's English History; Cheyney's Short History of England (Ginn and Company).

General Works: Green's Short History of the English People, 1 vol., or A History of the English People, 4 vols. (American Book Co.).

Traill's Social England, 6 vols. (Putnam).

Bright's History, of England, 5 vols., and Gardiner's Students' History of England (Longmans).

Gibbins's Industrial History of England, and Mitchell's English Lands, Letters, and Kings, 5 vols. (Scribner).

Oxford Manuals of English History, Handbooks of English History, and Kendall's Source Book of English History (Macmillan).

Lingard's History of England until 1688 (revised, 10 vols., 1855) is the standard Catholic history.

Other histories of England are by Knight, Froude, Macaulay, etc. Special works on the history of each period are recommended in the preceding chapters.


Jusserand's Literary History of the English People, 2 vols. (Putnam).

Ten Brink's Early English Literature, 3 vols. (Holt).

Courthope's History of English Poetry (Macmillan).

The Cambridge History of English Literature, many vols., incomplete (Putnam).

Handbooks of English Literature, 9 vols. (Macmillan).

Garnett and Gosse's Illustrated History of English Literature, 4 vols. (Macmillan).

Morley's English Writers, 11 vols. (Cassell), extends through Elizabethan literature. It is rather complex and not up to date, but has many quotations from authors studied.

Taine's English Literature (many editions), is brilliant and interesting, but unreliable.


Lowell's Literary Essays.

Hazlitt's Lectures on the English Poets.

Mackail's The Springs of Helicon (a study of English poetry from Chaucer to Milton).

Dowden's Studies in Literature, and Dowden's Transcripts and Studies.

Minto's Characteristics of English Poets.

Matthew Arnold's Essays in Criticism.

Stevenson's Familiar Studies in Men and Books.

Leslie Stephen's Hours in a Library.

Birrell's Obiter Dicta.

Hales's Folia Litteraria.

Pater's Appreciations.

NOTE. Special works on criticism, the drama, the novel, etc., will be found in the Bibliographies on pp. 9, 181, etc.

TEXTS AND HELPS (inexpensive school editions).

Standard English Classics, and Athenaeum Press Series (Ginn and Company).

Everyman's Library (Dutton).

Pocket Classics, Golden Treasury Series, etc. (Macmillan).

Belles Lettres Series (Heath).

English Readings Series (Holt).

Riverside Literature Series (Houghton, Mifflin).

Canterbury Classics (Rand, McNally).

Academy Classics (Allyn & Bacon).

Cambridge Literature Series (Sanborn).

Silver Series (Silver, Burdett).

Student's Series (Sibley).

Lakeside Classics (Ainsworth).

Lake English Classics (Scott, Foresman).

Maynard's English Classics (Merrill).

Eclectic English Classics (American Book Co.).

Caxton Classics (Scribner).

The King's Classics (Luce).

The World's Classics (Clarendon Press).

Little Masterpieces Series (Doubleday, Page).

Arber's English Reprints (Macmillan).

New Mediaeval Library (Duffield).

Arthurian Romances Series (Nutt).

Morley's Universal Library (Routledge).

Cassell's National Library (Cassell).

Bohn Libraries (Macmillan).

Temple Dramatists (Macmillan).

Mermaid Series of English Dramatists (Scribner).

NOTE. We have included in the above list all the editions of which we have any personal knowledge, but there are doubtless others that have escaped attention.

* * * * *


Dictionary of National Biography, 63 vols. (Macmillan), is the standard.

English Men of Letters Series (Macmillan).

Great Writers Series (Scribner).

Beacon Biographies (Houghton, Mifflin).

Westminster Biographies (Small, Maynard).

Hinchman and Gummere's Lives of Great English Writers (Houghton, Mifflin) is a good single volume, containing thirty-eight biographies.

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