The principle of inclusion in this book is the traditional one which assumes that criticism is only safe when it deals with authors who are dead. In proportion as we approach the living or, worse, speak of those still on earth, the proper perspective is lost and the dangers of contemporary judgment incurred. The light-minded might add, that the dead cannot strike back; to pass judgment upon them is not only more critical but safer.Sometimes, however, the distinction between the living and the dead is an invidious one.
Contents: Fiction and the Novel -- Eighteenth Century Beginnings: Richardson -- Eighteenth Century Beginnings: Fielding -- Developments: Smollett, Sterne and Others -- Realism: Jake Austen -- Modern Romanticism: Scott -- French Influence -- Dickens -- Thackeray -- George Eliot -- Trollope and Others -- Hardy and Meredith -- Stevenson -- The American Contribution
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