A History of English Literature

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9780674396654: A History of English Literature
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Traces the development of English literature from the Middle Ages to the present and discusses landmark examples of prose, poetry, and fiction

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Review:

Fowler sees both deep and wide, and manages to be not only useful but entertaining and willing to speculate...This [book] can surprise by its long views, its juxtapositions and its enthusiasms. (Frank Kermode London Review of Books)

Whatever literature is, it's to be found in A History of English Literature. Not just in the quotes, but in Fowler's own prose, sentence by sentence, in the architecture of his chapters, in the spirit of his book. It could well be that Fowler himself has created a work that should be included in the canon of literary works we all deserve to know first-hand. (Thomas D'Evelyn Christian Science Monitor)

Fowler's book [offers] brilliant assessments of scores of individual books and authors...In general his taste is catholic, and his eulogies are both perceptive and enthusiastic. He will persuade many readers to follow where he leads. (Kenneth Muir Times Higher Education Supplement)

Fowler is to be congratulated for the exhilarating flow of his historical narrative and his insights into authors as different as Pope and Pinter...His book is a reliable guide to the evolution of English literature and an important work of reference. (Alan Bold The Scotsman)

Most surveys of British literature become encyclopedic catalogs of authors and books. Fowler is more evaluative, his discussion more sustained. He analyzes types of literature within periods formally and stylistically, omitting all biographical detail and taking social background largely for granted. The result is judicious and balanced, showing a fresh interest in some neglected writers. Many literary terms are capitalized and briefly defined along the way, but this introductory device belies the actual sophistication of the text. The book would best serve informed students of literature who need a reacquaintance with period genres and innovations, or simply want to know what is worth reading and why. Fowler makes an excellent guide. (Donald Ray Library Journal)

From Library Journal:

Most surveys of British literature become encyclopedic catalogs of authors and books. Fowler is more evaluative, his discussion more sustained. He analyzes types of literature within periods formally and stylistically, omitting all biographical detail and taking social background largely for granted. The result is judicious and balanced, showing a fresh interest in some neglected writers. Many literary terms are capitalized and briefly defined along the way, but this introductory device belies the actual sophistication of the text. The book would best serve informed students of literature who need a reacquaintance with period genres and innovations, or simply want to know what is worth reading and why. Fowler makes an excellent guide.Donald Ray, Manhattanville Coll. Lib., Purchase, N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Fowler, Alastair
Published by Harvard University Press (1987)
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