Books: The Wounded Egoist

THE ORDEAL OF GEORGE MEREDITH (368 pp.)—Lionel Stevenson—Scribner ($6).

The year 1859 flares up in English literature like a volcanic eruption. In that one year were published (wholly or in part) Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Thackeray's The Virginians, George Eliot's Adam Bede, Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Darwin's The Origin of Species, Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubciydt of Omar Khayyam. Almost ignored in the rush was a novel named The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, by one George Meredith. Today, nearly a century after, both Meredith and his Ordeal are still little...

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