There are fifteen ""essays on beliefs in poetry"" in this volume which Gregory has chosen to call The Shield of Achilles, for reasons which even his explanatory preface fail to make clear. The subjects range, without much relation, from Samuel Johnson, through Byres, Pee. D.N. Lawrence and Paul More. The essays are and loaded with allusion, they are gracefully turned, they suggest some interesting and unusual facets of the subjects posed. And yet, withal, the volume is elusive and rather dull reading. Tr? and clarification seem to glance off the shield of Mr. Gregory's too well filled mind (except in the excellent piece on the Imagination and Thomas Lovell ). The creative illumination and definition one derives from the best critical writing seems lacking. Instead one wonders is a of and ambiguities which may have point for scholars but charm for even the and literary of the general reading public.