Books: Cassandra in Wessex

HARDY THE NOVELIST—Lord David Cecil—Bobbs-Merrill ($2.50).

"Have you ever noticed, when looking at a photographic group taken 20 years ago," asks Lord David Cecil, "that it is impossible to judge which women are well dressed, for all the clothes look equally grotesque; whereas in a group taken 40 years ago some were clearly charming? The same phenomenon is true of literature. . . . A certain time must elapse before we can easily separate what is permanent in an artist's work from what is temporary."

Lord David feels that for Thomas Hardy this time has now safely elapsed—"the world he lived in...

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