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Illustrated Encyclopaedia of English Literature (In 4 Volumes)

Richard Garnett (Author) Edmund Gosse (Author)
Synopsis Press Opinions: The Times: The range of the present work is so encyclopaedic that it would be perfectly idle for a single man in a single article to attempt a critical review of the whole, or even of a whole volume. The story of our early literature has been often enough told, but it has never, we think, been popularized to such good purpose… Most of the pictures here are interesting, many of them charming and not a few illuminating… Of such wealth of illustrative matter we may without exaggeration employ the happy phrase that Dryden in the noblest of prefaces, applied to Chaucer- ‘Here is God’s plenty.’ … The volumes seem to have been very carefully revised for press; and insignificant gleanings, after a careful survey, only demonstrate, in a work so widely comprehensive, the general care and accuracy of the revision.” The Athenaeum: “Dr. Garnett has given such an account of our literature as hardly another man of our times could have written from his personal knowledge. A find and cultivated taste, a cataholic and discriminating sympathy, are indeed rare accomplishments, and these Dr. Garnett displays on every page. Let us congratulate him, too, on the choice of subjects for reproduction as illustrations. Most of them are new to works of this kind, and the printing is uniformly good. The illustrations to Vol. III. Deserve a special word of recommendation. There are many charming title-pagesx of first editions, and characteristics letters of Defoe, Gibbon, and Goldsmith. We notice a wonderful caricature by Rowlandson, while the commanding genius of Hogarth and Reynolds appears in many masterly portraits. The abundance and the excellent choice of the illustrations are alike remarkable. The Gardian: “Both writers show to advantage. Equipped by a course of reading of which the encylcopadic character has almost passed into a pro-while Dr. Garnett has viewed his subject from the widest possible standpoint, and verb, the broad sweep of his pen will delight the general reader, the new aspects which he opens up and the pohilosophical tone which he gives to his history must command the respect of the most serious student. We find it difficult to give sufficiently high praise to the coloured plates, all being extraordinarily good…. It is a real gain in a book of this kind to find authentic portraits of so many of the persons mentioned in it.” The World: “ A new history of our literature requires some originality of treatment to make it acceptable. This handsome work possesses just that kind of originality which is likely to be popular. Its object is not merely to tell us what certain famous men wrote, but also how they looked and lived. This aim has been admirably fulfilled; the pages of the volumes are a rich feast of illustrations, all drawn from authentic sources. It was a happy idea, which is being excellently carried out.” The Globe: “ It is admittedly for the sake of its pictorial wealth that this work has been undertaken, and it is on that its acceptability and popularity will be mainly based. Ata the same time, if these volumes included not a single portrait or facsimile, they would still be welcome and desirable. For, clearly, they will supply a history of English literature marked out not only by readableness, but comprehensiveness, good proportions, and general mastery of the topic. It suffices to commend the enterprise in hearty terms to all who take a real and living interest in the literary glories of this country.”
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Bibliographic information

Title Illustrated Encyclopaedia of English Literature (In 4 Volumes)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8188836176
length xvi+368p., xiv+389p., xii+381p., xii+463p., Figures; B/w plates; Appendix; Index; 26cm.