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BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED READINGS
(Note: E. M. L.-English Men of Letters' Series; G. W. S.-Great Writers' Series.)
Celtic or British Literature. The student will get considerable knowledge of the spirit of the Celtic genius and of its contribution to English literature, as well as of the materials of Celtic romance, by readings from the following works: Joyce's Old Celtic Romances (Longmans); Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion (Dent); Lady Gregory's translation of Gods and Fighting Men (Scribner). Aubrey de Vere's poems, "The Children of Lir," "Cuchullin," etc., are based on old Irish poems. See also Arnold's essay on "Celtic Literature" (Macmillan).
Old English Literature (before the Norman Conquest). Cook and Tinker's Select Translations from Old English Poetry (Ginn). Among the many translations of Beowulf may be mentioned the prose translation by C. G. Child (Houghton), and the verse translation by Gummere, The Oldest English Epic (Macmillan). Various translations of other Old English poems may be found in vol. II of Morley's English Writers, and in Brooke's Early English Literature (Macmillan).
Chaucer. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: A. W. Ward, Chaucer (E. M. L.); Root, Poetry of Chaucer (Houghton); Pollard, Chaucer in English Literature Primers (Macmillan); Lowell's essay on "Chaucer," in My Study Windows (Houghton).
READINGS: Every student should be familiar with the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Other works giving a knowledge of Chaucer's breadth and variety are: "Knight's Tale," "Clerk's Tale," "Man of Lawe's Tale," "Nonne Preste's Tale," "The Pardoner's Tale," Chaucer's "Tale of Sir Thopas," "The Prioresses' Tale," "Ballad of Good Counseil," "Compleint to his Empty Purse."
Ballads. Convenient collections of the old ballads will be found in English and Scottish Popular Ballads, vol. I, ed. by Kittredge (Houghton); Gummere, Old English Ballads (Ginn);
J. P. Kinard, Old English Ballads (Silver, Burdett & Co.). The student will be most interested in the ballads: Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, Robin Hood and the Monk, Sir Patrick Spens, Johnie Armstrong, The Twa Corbies, Fair Margaret and Sweet William, and The Nut Brown Maid. In addition to these, it will be well to study some of the modern imitations or adaptations of the old ballad forms in such poems as Goldsmith's The Hermit, Sir Walter Scott's The Eve of St. John, Red Harlaw, and The Wild Huntsman. Many other ballads of later times will readily suggest themselves.
Malory's Morte d'Arthur is interesting not only in itself but as a source from which many later writers have derived materials for romance. The editions best adapted to the student's use are: Selections, W. E. Mead (Ginn); Morte d'Arthur, ed. by E. Rhys, in Camelot Series (Walter Scott). In the original form Malory is somewhat difficult reading for the young student. Many of the same stories have been retold in simpler form by Howard Pyle in The Story of the Champions of the Round Table, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, and The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions (Scribner).
Spenser. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Church, Life of Spenser (E. M. L.); Lowell's essay on "Spenser" in Among My Books (Houghton); Dowden, "Spenser the Poet and Teacher" and "The Heroines of Spenser" in Transcripts and Studies (Scribner).
READINGS: "February," in The Shepherd's Calendar; Prothalamion; and the selections from the Faërie Queene in Pancoast's Standard English Poems or in Manly's English Poetry.
Shakespeare. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Dowden, Shakspere Primer (American Book Co.); Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare (E. M. L.); Sidney Lee, Life of Shakespeare (Macmillan); Dowden, Shakspere: His Mind and Art (Harper).
READINGS: Midsummer Night's Dream (early comedy); Merchant of Venice (middle comedy); King Henry V. (history and comedy); As You Like It and Twelfth Night (later comedies); Julius Caesar (history and tragedy); Hamlet, Lear, and Mac
beth (the great tragedies); The Tempest, The Winter's Tale (romances). For selections from the Sonnets, see Pancoast's Standard English Poems.
BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Church, Life of Bacon (E. M. L.); Macaulay's essay on "Bacon," in Essays, vol. II (Harper).
READINGS: Among the numerous cheap and convenient editions of the Essays, Reynolds' edition (Clarendon Press) and Abbot's edition (Longmans) may be mentioned.
Milton. - BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Stopford Brooke's Milton, in Student's Literary Series (Appleton); Garnett, Milton, (in G. W. S.); Raleigh's Milton (Putnam); Lowell's essay on "Milton," in Among My Books, vol. II (Houghton).
READINGS: For Milton's minor poems see C. G. Child's Milton's Shorter Poems (Scribner). The student should begin the study of Milton with these shorter poems, especially with L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, and some of the sonnets, such as On the Completion of his Twenty Third Year and On his Blindness. For Milton's prose writings see Selected Prose Writings (Appleton). Paradise Lost, Books I, and II, ed. by Cook (Leach). Dryden. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Saintsbury, Life of Dryden (E. M. L.); Macaulay's essay on "Dryden," in Essays, vol. I; Lowell, "Dryden," in Among my Books (Houghton).
READINGS: "Absalom and Achitophel," Part I; "MacFlecknoe," "Under Mr. Milton's Picture," "Ode to the Memory of Mistress Ann Killigrew," "Alexander's Feast," "Song for Saint Cecilia's Day." It will be found interesting and profitable to compare Dryden's modernized version of Chaucer's "Knight's Tale" (Palamon and Arcite) with the original, and analyze the respective merits of the two poetic styles. PROSE: selections in Pancoast's Standard English Prose (Holt).
Pope. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Leslie Stephen, Alexander Pope (E. M. L.); De Quincey, in Biographical Essays and also in Essays on the Poets. Lowell's "Pope," in My Study Windows (Houghton).
READINGS: "Spring" in Pastorals; Windsor Forest; Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady; The Rape of the Lock;
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot; The Universal Prayer; Ode on Solitude; Moral Essays, I.
Steele. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Dobson, Richard Steele (Longmans); Thackeray, in the English Humourists (Holt).
READINGS: Selections from Steele, being papers from the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, ed. by Dobson (Clarendon Press); Selections, ed. by G. R. Carpenter (Ginn).
Addison. – BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Courthope, Addison (E. M. L.); Thackeray, in the English Humourists (Holt.) READINGS: Essays, chosen and edited by J. R. Green (Macmillan); Selections from Addison's Papers in the Spectator, ed. by Arnold (Clarendon Press); Select Essays of Addison, with Macaulay's essay on Addison, ed. by Thurber (Allyn and Bacon); Roger De Coverley Papers, ed. by Winchester (American Book Co.). The student will find it interesting to compare these papers with the character studies in Overbury's "Characters," in his Works (Library of Old Authors, Scribner).
Defoe. - BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Minto, Defoe (E. M. L.). Leslie Stephen, "Defoe's Novels," in Hours in a Library, vol. I (Putnam).
READINGS: Journal of the Plague Year (Temple Classics); Robinson Crusoe (Everyman's Library); Essay on Projects (Cassell's National Library); Apparition of Mrs. Veal, in Pancoast's Standard English Prose (Holt); Defoe's Minor Novels, ed. by Saintsbury (Macmillan).
Swift. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Leslie Stephen, Swift (E. M. L.); Thackeray, in the English Humourists (Holt). READINGS: Gulliver's Travels (Ginn); selections in Pancoast's English Prose (Holt).
Johnson. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Every student should be familiar, at least in part, with Boswell's Life of Johnson. Other shorter biographies are, Leslie Stephen's Johnson (E. M. L.), and Macaulay's Life (1856) in Encyclopedia Britannica, ninth ed. See also Carlyle's "Samuel Johnson," in Critical and Miscellaneous Essays.
READINGS: Lives of "Pope," "Gray," and "Collins," in the Lives of the Poets, ed. by Hill (Clarendon Press), or in the Bohn
edition. See also Selections, ed. by Osgood (Holt). POETRY: "London" and "The Vanity of Human Wishes," in Hale's Longer English Poems (Macmillan).
Collins. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Johnson, in Lives of the Poets (Clarendon Press); Swinburne, in Miscellanies (Scribner).
READINGS: Odes, To Fear, To Simplicity, To Evening, To Peace, The Passions, On the Death of Thomson, On the Popular Superstitions of the Highlands of Scotland; Dirge in Cymbeline, -in Poems, with memoir, ed. by Thomas (Aldine Poets). Gray. - BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Johnson, in Lives of the Poets (Clarendon Press); Lowell, in Latest Literary Essays (Houghton); Matthew Arnold, in Essays in Criticism, 2d series (Macmillan).
READINGS: Elegy in a Country Churchyard; Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College; On the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes; The Bard; Ode for Music; The Fatal Sisters, an Ode, from the Norse Tongue.
Goldsmith. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Forster, Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith, 2 vols. (Chapman and H.); W. Irving, Life (Putnam); De Quincey, in Essays on the Poets; Thackeray, in the English Humourists (Holt); Howitt, in Homes and Haunts of the British Poets (Routledge).
READINGS: The most convenient good edition of Goldsmith's works is the Globe edition, in one volume, ed. by Masson (Macmillan). The student should know The Deserted Village, The Traveller, The Vicar of Wakefield, and She Stoops to Conquer. A book of Selections from Goldsmith has been edited by Dobson (Clarendon Press).
Burke. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Morley, Life (E. M. L.); Morley, Edmund Burke; an Historical Study (Macmillan); Woodrow Wilson, "The Interpreter of English Liberty" in Mere Literature (Houghton).
READINGS: in Selections from Burke, ed. by Perry (Holt); Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful (Temple Classics); American Speeches and Letters on the Irish Question (Morley's Universal Library); Letter to a Noble Lord, ed. by Smyth (Ginn).
Cowper. BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM: Southey, Life, 2 vols.