george meredith in anecdote and criticism

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: II OUTLINE OF LIFE AND WORK 1874-1909 ' My dear boy, we read Meredith in the early seventies at Oxford,' the late York Powell once wrote to Professor Oliver Elton. Whatever the common public may have been applauding then, Meredith was by that time one of the prime favourites of the intellectuals : Grant Allen's ' few appreciative critics at London clubs ' were mere flies on the wheel of the novelist's admiring and understanding public. He had made his way; he had his own public fast, and the flood-gates of the press were about to open before the greatest title of printed criticism that has signalised the work of any English author, since Dickens, in his own lifetime. Oxford was an early stronghold of Meredith's, and long continued staunch to him, as we may gather from this little personal reminiscence by Mr. F. T. Bettany, whose undergraduate days were about one decade later than those of York Powell: We were all madly in love with George Meredith in my undergraduate days at Christ Church, and, thanks to the generosity of a friendly don who presented our Junior Common Room with complete sets of Thackeray, Dickens, Reade, and Meredith, we were able to gratify our enthusiasm. I remember well stealing from the shelves to which those books were to be confined the copy of ' The Egoist' and keeping it a week or more with scandalous selfishness in my own rooms. For us youngsters George Meredith was what Dickens had been to our seniors, and our joy in him was, I fear, just a little enhanced by his being—then, at least—caviare to the general. ' Beauchamp's Career ' came out in the Fortnightly of August, 1874, and ran until December, 1875, tne three-volume issue being published by Chapman and Hall immediately the serial was concluded, but bearing the date of the following year....
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