Everything but Simplicity

MEREDITH (269 pp.) -Siegfried Sassoon -Viking ($3.50)

George Meredith was the Evelyn Waugh of the Victorians. He was wondrously clever, with a wit that snapped and crackled and never faltered through more than 20 novels. "His pages so teem with fine sayings and magniloquent epigrams, gorgeous images, and fantastic locutions," said Critic W. E. Henley, that "the mind would welcome a little dullness as a glad relief." Had he had the virtue of simplicity, in addition to his other talents, he might have been to English fiction what Shakespeare is to its poetry...

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