A Critical History of English Poetry
This famous work was the result of the wartime collaboration of two Scottish scholars. Their tracing of the course of English poetry has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as a ‘volume of masterly compression'. They deliberately spend most time on the greatest poets, believing that, significant as traditions and influences are, the great poet himself affects the spirit of his age and moulds the tradition he has inherited. At the same time, enough attention is paid to minor poets to make the book historically complete, and to fill in the most important links in the chain of poetic development. Thus Gower is here, as well as Chaucer; Patmore, as well as Browning. Both in scope and in detail A Critical History of English Poetry is a distinguished and valuable work.