Curiosities of Literature: A Book-lover's Anthology of Literary Erudition

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9780099519294: Curiosities of Literature: A Book-lover's Anthology of Literary Erudition

A witty and eclectic tour of some of the more arcane byways of literature. Illustrated throughout.

How much heavier was Thackeray’s brain than Walt Whitman’s? Which novels do American soldiers read? When did cigarettes start making an appearance in English literature?

In Curiosities of Literature, John Sutherland contemplates the full import of questions such as these, and attempts a few answers in a series of essays that are both witty and eclectic. An account of the fast-working Mickey Spillane, for example, leads to a consideration of the substances, both legal and illegal, that authors have employed to boost their creative energies. An essay on good and bad handwriting points out in passing that Thackeray could write the Lord’s Prayer on the back of a stamp. As for Mary Shelley, a brief recital of the circumstances in which she wrote Frankenstein stops off to consider what impact the miserable summer weather of 1816 had on the future path of English literature.

It’s debatable, of course, whether knowledge of these arcane topics adds to the wisdom of nations. It does highlight the random pleasures in reading literature and reading about it.

As John Sutherland rightly asks, “Why else read?”


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About the Author:

John Sutherland currently teaches literature at the California Institute of Technology and is Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor at University College London.


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Sutherland, John
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ISBN 10: 0099519291 ISBN 13: 9780099519294
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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. How much heavier was Thackeray s brain than Walt Whitman s? Which novels do American soldiers read? When did cigarettes start making an appearance in English literature? And, while we re about it, who wrote the first Western, is there any link between asthma and literary genius, and what really happened on Dorothea s wedding night in Middlemarch? In Curiosities of Literature, John Sutherland contemplates the full import of questions such as these, and attempts a few answers in a series of essays that are both witty and eclectic. His approach is also unashamedly discursive. An account of the fast-working Mickey Spillane, for example, leads to a consideration of the substances, both legal and illegal, that authors have employed to boost their creative energies. An essay on good and bad handwriting points out in passing that Thackeray could write the Lord s Prayer on the back of a stamp. As for Mary Shelley, a brief recital of the circumstances in which she wrote Frankenstein stops off to consider what impact the miserable summer weather of 1816 had on the future path of English literature. Of course, it is debatable whether knowledge of these arcane topics adds to the wisdom of nations, but it does highlight the random pleasures to be found in reading literature and reading about it. As John Sutherland rightly asks, Why else read?. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099519294

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Sutherland, John
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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. How much heavier was Thackeray s brain than Walt Whitman s? Which novels do American soldiers read? When did cigarettes start making an appearance in English literature? And, while we re about it, who wrote the first Western, is there any link between asthma and literary genius, and what really happened on Dorothea s wedding night in Middlemarch? In Curiosities of Literature, John Sutherland contemplates the full import of questions such as these, and attempts a few answers in a series of essays that are both witty and eclectic. His approach is also unashamedly discursive. An account of the fast-working Mickey Spillane, for example, leads to a consideration of the substances, both legal and illegal, that authors have employed to boost their creative energies. An essay on good and bad handwriting points out in passing that Thackeray could write the Lord s Prayer on the back of a stamp. As for Mary Shelley, a brief recital of the circumstances in which she wrote Frankenstein stops off to consider what impact the miserable summer weather of 1816 had on the future path of English literature. Of course, it is debatable whether knowledge of these arcane topics adds to the wisdom of nations, but it does highlight the random pleasures to be found in reading literature and reading about it. As John Sutherland rightly asks, Why else read?. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099519294

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Book Description 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 20mm. Paperback. How much heavier was Thackeray's brain than Walt Whitman's? Which novels do American soldiers read? When did cigarettes start making an appearance in English literature? And, while we're a.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 304 pages. 0.283. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099519294

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Book Description Cornerstone, 2009. Book Condition: New. 2009. Paperback. How much heavier was Thackeray's brain than Walt Whitman's? Which novels do American soldiers read? When did cigarettes start making an appearance in English literature? And is there any link between asthma and literary genius? This title contemplates the import of questions such as these, and attempts a few answers in a series of essays. Num Pages: 304 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: DSB; DSR; WDKX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 213 x 132 x 22. Weight in Grams: 290. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099519294

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Book Description Cornerstone. Book Condition: New. 2009. Paperback. How much heavier was Thackeray's brain than Walt Whitman's? Which novels do American soldiers read? When did cigarettes start making an appearance in English literature? And is there any link between asthma and literary genius? This title contemplates the import of questions such as these, and attempts a few answers in a series of essays. Num Pages: 304 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: DSB; DSR; WDKX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 213 x 132 x 22. Weight in Grams: 290. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099519294

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