Halleck's New English Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 629 pages of information about Halleck's New English Literature.

Jane Austen.—­In Craik, V., or Manly.  II, read the selections from Pride and Prejudice.  The student at his leisure should read all this novel.

What world does she describe in her fiction?  What are her chief qualities?  How does she differ from Scott?  Why is she called a “realist”?

Wordsworth.—­Read I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, The Solitary Reaper, To the Cuckoo, Lines Written in Early Spring, Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower, To my Sister, She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways, She Was a Phantom of Delight, Alice Fell, Lucy Gray, We Are Seven, Intimations of Immortality from Recollection of Early Childhood, Ode to Duty, Hart-Leap Well, Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, Michael and the sonnets:  “It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,” “Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour,” and “The world is too much with us, late and soon.”  Some students will also wish to read The Prelude (Temple Classics or A.J.  George’s edition), which describes the growth of Wordsworth’s mind.

All the above poems (excepting The Prelude) may be found in the volume Poems of Wordsworth, chosen and edited by Matthew Arnold (Golden Treasury Series, 331 pp., $1).  Nearly all may also be found in Page’s British Poets of the Nineteenth Century (923 pp., $2).  For selections, see Bronson, IV., 1-54; Ward, IV., 1-88; Oxford 594-618; Century, 503-541; Manly, I., 329-345.

Refer to Wordsworth’s “General Characteristics” (pp. 393-396) and select the poems that most emphatically show his special qualities.  Which of the above poems seems easiest to write?  In which is his genius most apparent?  Which best presents his view of nature?  Which best stand the test of an indefinite number of readings?  In what do his poems of childhood excel?

Coleridge.—­Read The Ancient Mariner, Christabel, Kubla Khan, Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni, Youth and Age; Bronson, I., 54-93; Ward, IV., 102-154; Page, 66-103; Century, 553-565; Manly, I., 353-364; Oxford, 628-656.

How do The Ancient Mariner and Christabel manifest the spirit of Romanticism?  What are the chief reasons for the popularity of The Ancient Mariner?  Would you call this poem didactic?  Select stanzas specially remarkable for melody, for beauty, for telling much in few words, for images of nature, for conveying an ethical lesson.  What feeling almost unknown in early poetry is common in Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner, Wordsworth’s Hart-Leap Well, Burns’s To a Mouse, On Seeing a Wounded Hare Limp by Me, A Winter Night, and Cowper’s On a Goldfinch Starved to Death in his Cage?

The advanced student should read some of Coleridge’s prose criticism in his Biographia Literaria (Everyman’s Library).  The parts best worth reading have been selected in George’s Coleridge’s Principles of Criticism (226 pp., 60 cents) and in Beers’s Selections for the Prose Writings of Coleridge (including criticisms of Wordsworth and Shakespeare, 146 pp., 50 cents).

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Halleck's New English Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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