From Family to Philosophy: Letter-Writers from the Pastons to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

December 16, 2019

A cultural change in the Renaissance freed talented European writers to compose letters rivaling the finest that survived from ancient Rome. This book traces the lives and outlooks of distinguished Britons as revealed in their correspondence. The subjects range from the fierce satirist Jonathan Swift to the long-lived, all-observing Horace Walpole and from the poet and freedom fighter Lord Byron to the tormented but brilliant Jane Carlyle. Accompanying the self-portraits these writers unwittingly create are their many sketches of their contemporaries. Moreover, the views they express on forms of government, feminism, literature, theology, religious toleration, and other topics serve to relate their lives to the progression from the Age of Reason through the Romantic period to the Victorian era.

Dr. Henry Summerfield was born in 1935 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He has an M.A. from Oxford, where he studied at Exeter College, and an M.Litt. from the University of Durham. From 1962 to 1964, he taught at the M. S. University of Baroda, India, and from 1964 to 1966 at the University of Illinois. In 1966, he emigrated to Canada, and from that year until 2003 he taught at the University of Victoria. His special interests are eighteenth century British literature, twentieth century English poetry, and Bibliography. In addition to articles, he has published That Myriad-minded Man: A biography of George William Russell, “A.E,” (1867-1935); An Introductory Guide to The Anathemata and the Sleeping Lord Sequence of David Jones (1979); and A Guide to the Books of William Blake for Innocent and Experienced Readers (1998).

Free Download:

Purchase a Copy: