A Guide to British and American Novels (1895)
by Percy Russell (9780217766777)

A Guide to British and American Novels (1895)
 
Percy Russell
Release Date: 10 December 0140
Format: Paperback
Pages: 80
Category: Books & Reading
ISBN: 9780217766777
ISBN-10: 0217766773



Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Chapter III. THE HISTORICAL NOVEL FURTHER CONSIDERED. The re-issue, in popular form, of the Waverley novels, and of the historical romances of Charles Kingsley, and the sale in a short time of over a million of copies thereof, are surely events, if not epochs, in the development of latter nineteenth- century literary taste. For one thing it is very clearly shown that there is a public?probably one of the young?for historical romance, a branch of fiction which some time back threatened, so the publishers declared, to be like poetry?a drug in the market. The Waverley novels?some thirty in number?are more than two-thirds historical, and comprise stirring periods in Scottish, English, and continental literature, from the Conquest to the close of the Jacobite struggle with the House of Hanover. No doubt the historical novel had gone much out of fashion, but this was simply from lack of supply, not through failure of demand; and the advent of a generation of young readers has beenmarked by a decided revival of the old taste that made the successive issues of Scott's and subsequently of the first Lord Lytton's, historic novels events in the reading world during the first half of the nineteenth century. History, when popularised, compensates in some sense for the shortness of life, and for the limits which preclude most of us from reading the past through the more fascinating medium of travel; and certainly, when crystallised in artistic fiction by the really skilful novelist, affords an enjoyment to most readers at once rare, continual, and intensely dramatic. Of historical novelists Sir Walter Scott is unquestionably the greatest, just as Shakespeare is the greatest of dramatic poets. Some attempts have been made to detract from the author of Ivanhoe; and we all know how it ...

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