There are two accepted methods of dealing with the Novel, and neither has scope for a kind of interest in fiction that I feel to be of great urgency. The temperature of even the critical scenes is decidedly cool, for the rhetoric of sensibility employs an abstract vocabulary which effectually maintains an emotional decorum. This antithesis between a novel of the heart and a novel of the brain. The affirmation in Practical Criticism that it is through poetry alone that humanity may improve itself, seems as desperate as the blackest pessimist could wish, though it is there made the foundation for a pious hope. My favourite reading is the memoirs of people who have done things, and I admit, without shame, that my favourite novelists are Hergesheimer, A. It is this general atmosphere of plausibility about even my most highly imaginative stories that seems to arouse and hold the interest of the reader, a fact which is based upon the theory that readers enjoy those situations in which they may readily visualise themselves as taking a principal and heroic part.
Of late there have seemed to me to be certain signs, especially in America, of a revolt of the mob against our literary masters. Such work must be done in order that some kind of communication may be kept up, and only the novel can do it, for, as we have seen, the general reading public touches nothing more serious than the novel or newspaper. Contrast them with the local and national proverbs which till recently i. The sudden opening of the fiction market to the general public was a blow to serious reading. Waiting- maids in the morning, and Dutchesses at night. The mathematician was her brother. The exigencies of railway travelling do not allow much time for examining the merits of a book before purchasing it; and keepers of bookstalls, as well as of refreshment-rooms, find an advantage in offering their customers something hot and strong, something that may catch the eye of the hurried passenger, and promise temporary excitement to relieve the dulness of a journey.
To meet this undeniable call for literature associated with the film, it would not be enough to produce books of inferior quality. Many of my written stories are based upon these. Mottram's stolid optimism and the refreshing sardonic vigour of D. Like him she was obliged to earn her living by the pen, and so followed current fashion with amazing fertility; like him she produced her best work at the end of a long career its merits have never been recognised since her own day. Hence the insistence, illus- trated in Part I. What factors in your opinion most influence the circulation of popular novels? When the grey chalk-hills showed, Sorreli would think of boundaries and of the finality of.
It is quite common to meet educated people who confess to having eight or more hours a day to spend in reading what else can one do? Lawrence, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, T. Please give any informa- tion you can relating to the conception, construction, writing, production, publishing, and advertising of your novels. She could find material to express her interests and preoccupa- tions in the life around her that she lived and knew, and the attitude of critical detachment that stamps everything she wrote as the product of a mature and balanced personality was a heritage from her en- vironment. Radcliffe represents the intermediate stage, where though the circulating library conventions are in full possession yet there is still something alive in the body of the book. Since all the great names in popular fiction of this generation and many of those in the last generation Marie Corelli, Florence Barclay, Ethel M. In the beginning of Queene Elizabeths most happy Reigne, our late deceased Sovereigne, under whose peacefull govern- ment long flourished this our Country of England, there lived in the Citie of London a merry Citizen, named old Hobson a Haberdasher of female wares, dwelling at the lower end of Cheape-side, in the Poultry, as well known through this part of England as a Sergeant knowes the Counter gate: he was a homely plaine man, most commonly wearing a button Cap close to his eares, a short Gowne girt about his midle, and a paire of slippers upon his feete of an ancient fashion, as for his wealth it was answerable to the better sort of our Citizens, but of so merry a disposition that his equall a Vol.
Stevenson, filtered down through the Press as the higher journalese : style became then something recognisably literary as distinct from educated speech-idiom cf. We had neither Fielding nor Richardson, nor, I think, Smollett. Yet this degree of seriousness seems remarkable in popular novelists, even though, as has been suggested, a fashion for such critical tit-bits had perhaps been set by Tom Jones and The Tale of a Tub. Wodehouse, Wanyick Deeping, Hugh Walpole, John Galsworthy, and adds, ' It is perhaps worthy of note that Thomas Hardy was the most widely-quoted among the dead authors and P. Of voyages and travels there was no lack ; and, as I remember, the literature connected with the stirring period of the French Revolution occupied considerable space. But how is it then, one asks, that Bunyan was able to write the most popular book of his age and one of the most popular of the subsequent ages? The explanation is to be found in Bunyan's use of language. Sterne requires careful and persevering reading, but the reward is an extremely subtle kind of pleasure, since Sterne's success consists in harmonising a variety of moods and bringing off chameleon-like changes of feeling with a juggler's dexterity ; a whole public that clamoured for more and more parts of Tristram Shandy is now almost inconceivable.
What in sum is it that Bunyan and Defoe do for their readers? Her power is terrific at any rate in The Rosary. Take a sentence at random from The Unfortunate Traveller: Verie devout Asses they were, for all they were so dunstic- ally set forth, and such as thought they knew as much of God's minde as richer men: why inspiration was their ordinarie familiar, and buzd in their eares like a Bee in a boxe everie hower what newes from heaven, hell, and the land of whipperginnic, displease them who durst, he should have his mittimus to damnation ex tempore, they would vaunt there was not a pease difference betwixt them and the Apostles, they were as poor as they, of as base trades as they, and no more inspired than they, and with God there is no respect of persons, onely herein may seeme some little diver- sitie to lurk, that Peter wore a sword, and they count it flat hel fire for anie man to weare a dagger: nay, so grounded and gravelled were they in this opinion, that now when they should come to Battell, theres never a one of them would bring a blade no, not an onion blade about hym to dye for it. She wrote about the historical sociology of reading and the development of the English, the European, and the American novel. So complete a revolution in the outlook of the reading public cannot be lightly passed over. In fact nearly all the new publications of English origin which were really worth having, in general literature and popular science, were included, and the families we have noted were never without a fair amount of books. The loss in maturity and poise noticeable between Pope and Shelley is paralleled by the same disparity between Sterne and Thackeray, Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, Smollett and Dickens.
If so, in what directions and with what results? With the decline of religious authority and of the satisfaction obtainable from first-hand living the novel has come to mean a great deal more for all those in any way inclined to serious-mindedness. It is important to realise that not only the authors of a and b but nearly all popular novelists are now trying to dramatise problems of feeling and sentiment far too complex for their handling, and in an idiom which inevitably vulgarises whatever it has to convey. She has performed a noble office by inquiring into the case of the bestseller. And apart from Richardson, no other novelist of that age even provides a scaffolding for castle-building. I do not intend by this to convey the idea that I expect you either to agree with my views or praise my work, but I shall appreciate it if you will treat the former with such seriousness as my careful and conscientious reply to your request merits.
Unfortunately, since the author, for reasons already explained, has been educated neither in thinking nor in feeling, the moral passion ex- hibited is fatally crude ; fatally only by the standards of the sophisticated, however, for there is a large and increasing public of suitable readers. Have you any views about the bestseller? Because of this we take care in describing the condition of each book in as much detail as possible, images provided are of the actual book. The people with power no longer represent intellectual authority and culture. So strong was his ' desire to be talking about religious mysteries, etc. Here are recorded the plots and histories of all the well-known and many of the less well-known English novels ; but there is no indication that they ever had readers, much less that they played any part in shaping the human spirit and were shaped by it; and this method precludes any serious discussion of values. Once more, sweet Heaven, have mercy! He was, perhaps, a trifle overpleased with himself and the world, a little too prosperous and jolly and optimistic, and being in addition the son of a Bishop, his voice at times rose to a pulpit ring, but he meant well, was vigorous and bland and kindly.
The Puritan education had taught him the value of cumulative pleasure, which enabled him to sit down undismayed to Gibbon and Locke, Johnson, Pope's Homer and Robertson's histories, solid reading that gives little immediate repayment. An achievement of distinguished quality and high value. And as a result of the stratification of taste noticed earlier, this demand is met at different levels : the suitable reader of This Freedom and of The Middle of the Road and of Ann Veronica are alike in very little but a genuine sense of something wrong with the world. There is a counter for 2d. A novel that cannot be taken in at one reading stands little chance of a public in the twentieth century.