Rudyard Kipling: A Critical Study (Classic Reprint)
There are certain writers whose place in the history of literature is not determined merely by their merit. They are men of their hour, men who voice the thoughts and aspirations of their contemporaries, men who help to explain the writers that go before and that follow after. They come at a time of crisis, and take their part in shaping the destiny of letters. Byron in England, Chateaubriand in France arc typical examples. They are foolish people who deny Byron's claim to be a great poet, but it is none the less true that Byron is a far grander figure than the worth of his poetry would warrant. He is in our eyes the great herald of revolt, the man who dared scoff at the Duke of Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo. He voices the nostalgia of Romanticism, he is the mouthpiece of fin de siecle pessimism.
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