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- DescriptionAn excerpt of a review from The Monthly Review : IN his Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen, Mr. Landor established his right to the title of the English Literary Dramatist. That work displayed ordinary acquaintance with the great men of antiquity - ordinary enthusiasm and fidelity in personating their characters and feelings, by turns humorous, tender, quaint, or lofty, as the subject required. Without caricature, and without effort, he seemed to place himself in the situation of the individuals represented, and to utter the very words, and suggest the very sentiments which they themselves would or must have done. It was also well observed of that work, that the author succeeded best when going far back into antiquity, and that according to the distance which the object or character contemplated stood from him, so did his views expand, and the more worthy did he become of the admirable models supposed to he imitated, Accordingly, we remember, that his dialogue between Pericles and Sophocles was one of the happiest efforts which his Conversations presented. It is therefore reasonable to expect, when the former of these illustrious names is introduced again, upon a wider field and along with a more numerous array of contemporary personages who are prominent in the temple of fame, that our author's power will t be less felicitous than when he first personated that great commander, statesman, and orator, especially since the celebrated Aspasia is the heroine in the series of Letters constituting the work. Indeed we have to say, that for all that is minute and graceful in scholarship, for all that is precise and ble in sentiment, and all that is descriptive in situation, these Letters surpass the Dialogues formerly published. In truth, the work is so purely classical, so highly finished, and the characters so little kwn by the mass of readers w-a-days, who are attracted by tinsel more than by substantial riches, because these are t allowed the time necessary for weighing and valuing them, that we fear it will t obtain the popularity which more exciting but much more flimsy productions secure. If it may require of the reader, as Mr. Landor himself suggests, the learning by heart two first 'Years' of Thucydides, ere he can relish the volumes before us, something t much different from a sealed book is presented to nineteen-twentieths of the reading community. We must, however, select a few gems, without any thing like lengthened comment or discussion; the imaginary nature of the performance, and the subjects treated of, affording small scope for anything more than a taste for the author's beauties, and an appreciation of the intellectual and critical powers displayed. As already intimated, there is a diversity of characters and topics introduced in these Letters. Besides Pericles, the eloquent, the venerable, but t the spotless, and Aspasia, the lively, but passionate and erring, her early companion Cleone figures prominently in the correspondence; the gods, the poets and philosophers of Greece, the arts, and the manners of the age, being, with other and kindred themes, besides the love of the hero and heroine, constantly blended in learned and most terse as well as polished style. Our first extract shall be from a letter of the sensible and affectionate Cleone to the lovely Aspasia. Though her numerous criticisms on the poets are learned and profound, she is t above directing her taste to ornaments of dress-as witness the following artist-like particularity....
- Author(s)Walter Savage Landor
- Date of Publication04/01/2014
- FormatPaperback / softback
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight381 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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