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10 Works of Austin Dobson

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At this date, Thackeray’s Esmond has passed from the domain of criticism into that securer region where the classics, if they do not actually “slumber out their immortality,” are at least preserved from profane intrusion. This “noble story”[1]–as it was called by one of its earliest admirers–is no longer, in any sense, a book “under […]

The general reader, as a rule, is but moderately interested in minor rectifications. Secure in a conventional preference of the spirit to the letter, he professes to be indifferent whether the grandmother of an exalted personage was a “Hugginson” or a “Blenkinsop”; and he is equally careless as to the correct Christian names of his […]

Towards the close of the year 1766–not many months after the publication of the Vicat of Wakefield–there appeared in Mr. Henry Sampson Woodfall’s Public Advertiser, and other newspapers, a letter addressed “To the Printer,” and signed “PAPYRIUS CURSOR.” The name was a real Roman name; but in its burlesque applicability to the theme of the […]

M. Rouquet’s book is a rare duodecimo of some two hundred pages, bound in sheep, which, in the copy before us, has reached that particular stage of disintegration when the scarfskin, without much persuasion, peels away in long strips. Its title is– L’Etat des Arts, en Angleterre. Par M. Rouquet, de l’Academie Royale de Peinture […]

One of the things that perplexes the dreamer–for, in spite of the realists, there are dreamers still–is the almost complete extinction of the early editions of certain popular works. The pompous, respectable, full-wigged folios, with their long lists of subscribers, and their magniloquent dedications, find their permanent abiding-places in noblemen’s collections, where, unless–with the Chrysostom […]

I. KATE GREENAWAY In the world of pictorial recollection there are many territories, the natives of which you may recognise by their characteristics as surely as Ophelia recognises her true-love by his cockle-hat and sandal shoon. There is the land of grave gestures and courteous inclinations, of dignified leave-takings and decorous greetings; where the ladies […]

One common grave, according to Garrick, covers the actor and his art. The same may be said of the raconteur. Oral tradition, or even his own writings, may preserve his precise words; but his peculiarities of voice or action, his tricks of utterance and intonation,–all the collateral details which serve to lend distinction or piquancy […]

Among other pleasant premonitions of the present entente cordiale between France and England is the increased attention which, for some time past, our friends of Outre Manche have been devoting to our literature. That this is wholly of recent growth, is not, of course, to be inferred. It must be nearly five-and-forty years since M. […]

New books can have few associations. They may reach us on the best deckle-edged Whatman paper, in the newest types of famous presses, with backs of embossed vellum, with tasteful tasselled strings,–and yet be no more to us than the constrained and uneasy acquaintances of yesterday. Friends they may become to-morrow, the day after,–perhaps “hunc […]

Were you to inquire respectfully of the infallible critic (if such indeed there be!) for the source of the aphorism, “Music has charms to soothe a savage beast,” he would probably “down” you contemptuously in the Johnsonian fashion by replying that you had “just enough of learning to misquote”;–that the last word was notoriously “breast” […]