English Literature by George Shuster
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You will find English Literature by George N. Shuster to be an insightful mentor of the literature of England. The book covers major periods of English literature. Exploring the works of key authors, including Shakespeare, Milton, Austen, Dickens, and Eliot providing a critical analysis of their writing styles and themes. The book also examines the social, cultural, and historical contexts that influenced the development of English literature. With its engaging writing style and insightful analysis, English Literature is a fantastic resource for students, scholars of literature, as well as anyone interested in the rich literary tradition of England.
This book aims to describe what English Literature is and has been. The writer has reckoned in an especial way with the fact that during the past twenty-five years, historians have shown the abiding importance to literature of certain ethical and cultural movements which, during a good half of the nineteenth century, were thought inconsequential and out of date. He has tried to familiarize the student with the vital interests of his time, which are therefore his own most personal interests. These are necessarily different from problems and points of view that were most absorbing to the later Victorians. The Reader and the teacher will find here a twentieth-century book, embodying the best scholarly and literary opinion of recent years, and interested in being fair to every form of opinion which has added something of permanent value to the riches of our literary tradition. Nor as the writer fear to include a tentative summary of books and authors nearly contemporary with ourselves. Students can no more reasonably be expected to learn about these from current magazines than they can be asked to study older literature in the encyclopedias and the reviews. For the reason that literature is essentially a record of life, it ought to be interpreted in terms of actual living. No pains have been spared in the effort to kindle enthusiasm for what is abiding significance. It may be taken as characteristic of the present volume, for instance, that our modern rediscovery of Doctor Samuel Johnson is reflected in the comparatively ample space devoted to his writings and character. And the approach to great books and individuals is undertaken according to a definite plan, which makes room for concrete impressions of historical environment, individual purpose, and artistic achievement. The illustrations are, wherever possible, contemporary with the topic under discussion ; and the arrangement of material is the one suggested by the writer’s own teaching experience. Though the aim has been to write as entertainingly as possible for young people, the very nature of the subject demands rigid exactness and a great deal of information. The primary purpose of a book which, like this, is intended for those who are beginning the study of their subject, must begin to awaken interest in our literature as a whole. It wishes to instill affection for the long and bright tradition of English letters and it utilizes only such material as will contribute to the attainment of this object. To the numerous persons who have been helpful with the text, the illustrations, and the solution of pedagogical problems, the writer wishes to offer a word of sincerest thanks. Without every one of them, his task would have been much more difficult and his product less worthy of the public. It is really a pleasure to call this book a “community enterprise.”
George N. Shuster