A Brief History of English and American Literature
Henry Augustin Beers (1847-?), native of Buffalo, NY and professor of English at Yale, with the help of John Fletcher Hurst (1834-1903), Methodist bishop and first Chancellor of American University, has written a sweeping thousand 900 year history of English literature, up to the end of the 19th century. Although at times biased and sometimes misguided (as when he dismisses Mark Twain as a humorist noteworthy in his time but not for the ages), his research is sound and his criticism is interesting and quite often very balanced. In addition, the last chapter of each part is Hurst’s synopsis of religious and theological literature in the language. This book is interesting for its point of view, but also useful as a jumping-off point for those interested in reading the classics.
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