free ebooks

A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

To Professor Saintsbury English prosody is a living thing


style="text-align: justify;"> A HISTORY OF ENGLISH PROSODY

FROM THE TWELFTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY

By DR. GEORGE SAINTSBURY

Three Vols. 8vo.

VOL. I. FROM THE ORIGINS TO SPENSER. 10s. net. VOL. II. FROM SHAKESPEARE TO CRABBE. 15s. net. VOL. III. FROM BLAKE TO SWINBURNE. 15s. net.

SOME PRESS OPINIONS OF VOLUME I.

_THE ATHENAEUM._--"A thing complete and convincing beyond any former work from the same hand. 'Hardly any one who takes a sufficient interest in prosody to induce him to read this book' will fail to find it absorbing, and even entertaining, as only one other book on the subject of versification is: the _Petit Traite de poesie francaise_ of Theodore de Banville.... We await the second and third volumes of this admirable undertaking with impatience. To stop reading it at the end of the first volume leaves one in just such a state of suspense as if it had been a novel of adventure, and not the story of the adventures of prosody. 'I am myself quite sure,' says Prof. Saintsbury, 'that English prosody is, and has been, a living thing for seven hundred years at least.' That he sees it living is his supreme praise, and such praise belongs to him only among historians of English verse."

_THE TIMES._--"To Professor Saintsbury

English prosody is a living thing, and not an abstraction. He has read poetry for pleasure long before he began to read it with a scientific purpose, and so he has learnt what poetry is before making up his mind what it ought to be. It is a common fault of writers upon prosody that they set out to discover the laws of music without ever training their ears to apprehend music. They theorise very plausibly at large, but they betray their incapacity so soon as they proceed to scan a difficult line. Professor Saintsbury never fails in this way. He knows a good line from a bad one, and he knows how a good line ought to be read, even though he may sometimes be doubtful how it ought to be scanned. He has, therefore, the knowledge most essential to a writer upon prosody.... His object, as he constantly insists, is to write a history, to tell us what has happened to our prosody from the time when it began to be English and ceased to be Anglo-Saxon; not to tell us whether it has happened rightly or wrongly, nor even to be too ready to tell us why or how it has happened."

Professor W. P. KER in the _SCOTTISH HISTORICAL REVIEW_.--"The history of verse, as Mr. Saintsbury takes it, is one aspect of the history of poetry; that is to say, the minute examination of structure does not leave out of account the nature of the living thing; we are not kept all the time at the microscope. This is the great beauty of his book; it is a history of English poetry in one particular form or mode.... The author perceives that the form of verse is not separable from the soul of poetry; poetry 'has neither kernel nor husk, but is all one,' to adapt the phrase of another critic."

A HISTORY OF ENGLISH PROSODY

By DR. GEORGE SAINTSBURY


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us