THE PLEASURES OF PEACOCK by Ben Ray- Ed. Redman

THE PLEASURES OF PEACOCK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Specialists' item, this, for that coterie who still quote Thomas Love Peacock and rank him high among satirists of all times. Few 20th century readers are familiar with any of his work; most students of 19th century English literature know him as an intimate of Shelley, a second rate versifier, and a novelist whose books are a curious mixture of satire, personal, social, political, and romance. Perhaps the chief claim to fame lies in the reflection of the times and the man himself. His barbed pen is directed against the established traditions, the thinking of his day; the gentry, the church, the worshippers of the classics -- all come in for their share of satire, somewhat veiled in the trappings of the established manner of the day. This collection -- edited and somewhat abridged by Ben Ray Redman -- includes the greater part of his seven novels:- Headlong Hall, Nelincourt, Nightmare Abbey (in which Shelley is typed as hero), Mail Marion (one aspect of the Robin Hood legend), The Misfortunes of Elphin (where the Arthurian legend supplies the inspiration), Crotchet Castle (perhaps most obvious in its satiric implications), and Cryll Grange. Quite honestly, I question the possibility of a Peacock revival. He hasn't that warmly personal human touch that makes Jane Austen and Anthony Troilepe hardy perennials. Unfortunately, the galley proofs did not contain Mr. Redman's introductory material.

Pub Date: July 24th, 1947
Publisher: Farrar, Straus