Literature & Fiction / Literary Criticism / The Lives of the Poets by Michael Schmidt, Simon Shaw Michael Schmidt, Simon Shaw                     1097 pages including index. Review
Quintessentially good-humoured, consummately unstuffy, all but dripping with erudition: Michael Schmidt is an English scholar to die for. In this seminal work he undertakes--and succeeds at--an imposing task: leading us through a vast and swirling river otherwise known as the expanded canon of English literature. 

Taking the era of the Black Death as a starting point--children dragged by their foster mothers past lime-doused pits of the dead--he immediately captures our justifiably sceptical attention. Travelling from Lichfield and Devon, to Cambridge, Stratford, and York (to name a few), he's soon our trusted tour guide, offering literary criticism, summaries, biographies, forging connections between and among the greats and lesser knowns. We're also treated to an entertaining array of anecdotes, including, for instance, that Shakespeare's contemporaries quaffed the first English beer (hops having arrived in Kent), and that upon its initial publication, Walt Whitman's Song of Myself was banned in Boston. Like all good guides, he knows exactly when to speed up, when to pull to shore to examine more closely the murky depths. 

With opinions at times bordering on the acerbic--he spares no kindness for Allen Ginsberg and his brand of substance-abuse induced visions, nor is he about to excuse Wallace Stevens for
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Literature & Fiction / Literary Criticism / The Lives of the Poets by Michael Schmidt, Simon Shaw

Monday, March 04, 2024


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  • Book Title: The Lives of the Poets
  • Author: Michael Schmidt, Simon Shaw
  • ISBN: 0753807459
  • Publisher: Phoenix mass market p/bk
  • Year Published: 03 June, 1999
  • Status: Sold - We are currently out of stock for this title

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