George Saintsbury (essay date 1911)
SOURCE: Saintsbury, George. “English Criticism from 1860-1900.” In A History of English Criticism, pp. 468-514. Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons, 1962.
[In the following excerpt, originally published in 1911, Saintsbury considers Pater's disputed reputation as the finest literary critic of his generation.]
To assert too positively that Mr Walter Pater was the most important English critic of the last generation of the nineteenth century—that he stands to that generation in a relation resembling those of Coleridge to the first, and Arnold to the latter part of the second—would no doubt cause grumbles. The Kingdom of Criticism has been of old compared to...
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