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ADVANCE OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL by William Lyon…
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ADVANCE OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL

by William Lyon Phelps

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312,001,085 (4.5)5
Recently added byPorius, karinmorris, cmbohn

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» See also 5 mentions

This is one of the oldest books in my TBR pile, by which I mean that it was published first in 1915 and I've had it so long I kept forgetting what it looking like. But I unearthed it this week and I'm glad I did. I was a little afraid it would be dry and technical, but it was neither. It reads more like conversation, except for some lengthy quotes here and there, and it's surprisingly fun.

Phelps discusses the development of the novel, from the days of Swift, Defoe, and Sterne, and ends around the first World War. He definitely has his favorites and his hates, but that makes it fun to read. I can't agree with him at all on Henry James, who I think is boring beyond belief, and he practically ignored Mark Twain, but I found several in here I want to find. He seemed to be off quite a bit with his picks for best writers of his own day, given that I hadn't even heard of the majority of them. It reminds me of something I heard once about how small the number was of writers whose fame outlasted their own lifetimes.

I'm sure this one would be very hard to find. There are only 2 copies on LT. I don't know that I'd recommend looking for it, but I did enjoy it. ( )
1 vote cmbohn | Oct 26, 2010 |
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