The Sensation Novel Principal Figures - Essay

Principal Figures

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

T. S. Eliot (essay date 1932)

SOURCE: "Wilkie Collins and Dickens," in Selected Essays, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1932, pp. 409–18.

[In the essay that follows, Eliot discusses melodramatic elements in the novels of Dickens and Collins.]

It is to be hoped that some scholarly and philosophic critic of the present generation may be inspired to write a book on the history and aesthetic of melodrama. The golden age of melodrama passed, it is true, before any person living was aware of its existence: in the very middle of the last century. But there are many living who are not too young to remember the melodramatic stage before the cinema...

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