Esther Forbes Alexander Laing - Essay

Alexander Laing

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The historical novel, latterly, has come to depend more and more upon the old picaresque formula which had, in its origins, nothing in particular to do with history. As if plotted upon a sine wave, the story must soar to a lush bit of four-poster ecstasy every fifteen pages, and plummet in the interstices into violence and cruelty. It is therefore something of a relief to come upon a tale [such as The Running of the Tide] which does not rely upon such gaudy devices at all. Miss Forbes approaches her task and material respectfully. The faults of her novel, in so far as it is faulty, are those of too laborious an attention to details. (p. 15)

The publishers,… to quote the dust wrapper, call it...

(The entire section is 644 words.)