David Caute Bernard Bergonzi - Essay

Bernard Bergonzi

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The historical novel has often been favoured by Marxists, who claim a particularly intimate relationship to the processes of history, and was the object of a magisterial treatise by Georg Lukacs. In this context it is instructive to consider the case of David Caute, who is both a novelist and a historian, an intellectual of the left, and a former Marxist (one should add that, like Orwell a generation ago, Mr Caute devotes much energy to criticizing his comrades on the left). Early in his career Mr Caute wrote a historical novel, Comrade Jacob (1961), which was set in seventeenth-century England soon after the execution of Charles I. It describes the rise and fall of the egalitarian Digger community set up by...

(The entire section is 1456 words.)