Studies in the Evolution of English Criticism

Studies in the Evolution of English Criticism

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The study of literary criticism has within the past few years been finding place for itself in the work of our higher institutions of learning.' Miss Wylie's series of studies is published under the auspices of Yale University, and it is interesting as an evidence or this renaissance of critical study and as one of the first results to scholarship of the opening of postgraduate courses to women at New Haven. Miss Wylie's book, which treats of Dryden, "The Evolution Out of Classicism," "The German Sources of Coleridge's Criticism" and of Coleridge himself, is a readable and valuable volume for any one seriously interested in English literature, and it is a proof that a doctor's thesis may be an attractive piece of literature itself, without offending the canons of research.
-The Review of Reviews, Volume 9 [1894]
This is an important contribution to a subject which has been too much neglected in the past. These studies bear on the surface many evidences of wide reading and careful thinking. It is also particularly worthy of note that the reading of the author has been widely extended, not only in English literature, its highways and bypaths, but also in French and German literature, without which it is impossible to understand, in any but a superficial way, the history and development of the literature of England. For these and other reasons, it seems to me that both the author is to be congratulated on so serious and methodical an attempt, and the university which has conferred the degree of doctor of philosophy upon the writer and borne the expense of publishing this thesis.
The little volume consists of four studies. The first deals with the criticism of Dryden, its sources and its character, and the establishment of classicism in England. Part two is called the "Evolution out of Classicism," discussing the continued influence of France on England, the renewed interest in Greek art and learning, and the growth of the romantic spirit which took the place of classicism. In the third study Miss Wylie discusses the "German Sources of Coleridge's Criticism," or better, German criticism itself as exemplified by Lessing, Winkelmann, Herder, Goethe, and Schiller. The last study is devoted to Coleridge himself, to the early influence of Bowles and Wordsworth, the later influence of German philosophy, and to Coleridge's application of his principles.
The chapters are closely written and the thesis will require more than a single reading for its full appreciation. This is owing, not to any lack of clearness in style, but to the number and extent of the writings upon which the numerous generalizations of the author are based. If there is any criticism to be made on this able monograph, it is that the conclusions might well have been summarized in a short concluding chapter. This is not, however, so much criticism as a wish to which the reviewer feels like giving expression.
-School Review, Volume 3 [1895]
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Product details

  • Paperback | 220 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12mm | 304g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1514767589
  • 9781514767580