THE ENGLISH NOVEL IN TRANSITION: 1885-1940 by William C. Frierson


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A good survey, useful for lecturers, teachers, students of literature, with critiques of a good many individual books included in the text. Frierson is a professor now at the University of Alabama and has here undertaken a classification of English fiction from the late Victorians to the present. He has made an interesting breakdown of major and minor trends, influences etc. In this multiple period. The book does not rank with the more distinctive, more interpretative, more creative criticism of such men as Edmund Wilson, Joseph Krutch, Bernard De Voto, etc. but it does present a workable classification and clarification of a full literary span. The late Victorians (T, Reade, Ellot), the infiltration of French naturalism which produced the modern English novel, the Maupanssant School, the Dickens reaction, Henry James and the Experimental Novel, lesser influences and styles leading through the World War, the post war reaction with sophisticates on one hand and embittered on the other. Even rapid reading caught some innccuracies, but in the main it is a useful -- rather than a valuable -- reference book.

Publisher: Univ. of Oklahoma