Frank Swinnerton Walter Allen - Essay

Walter Allen

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Those who have read Frank Swinnerton's earlier volume of literary reminiscences, "Background With Chorus," know what to expect of "Figures in the Foreground." It is, as the author says himself, "a book of personal gossip," but it is the gossip of a man who writes from experience at first hand. Mr. Swinnerton has spent his life among books and among those who make them….

In his new book he draws on his memories of British literary life between 1917 and 1940. He is—and no one knows it better than he—a survivor from a past age. He is, as he says in a characteristic phrase, "worm-eaten with Liberalism"; and of himself before World War I he writes:

"It never occurred to me that one...

(The entire section is 411 words.)