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Shelley without sentiment?,
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This review is from: Shelley: The Pursuit (Paperback)
Many in the literary world have given this book a positive review since it first appeared in the early 1970's. It is a wonderfully deep and engrossing book, both a damn good read and on the face of it an admirable work of research.
So I noted with curiosity that the editors of the excellent "Shelley's Poetry & Prose" (Norton Critical Edition) referred to The Pursuit in unflattering terms; "Imaginative and lively life, marred by factual errors, by a journalist-scholar with limited sympathy for PBS's poetry". These scholars should be in a good position to judge but "journalist-scholar" has a whiff of academic snobbishness about it and the charge of "limited sympathy" seems to communicate more the pique of someone for whom Shelley has become the untouchable one than the opinion of an objective reviewer.
It is true that Holmes does not praise everything that Shelley wrote or did; he points out 'weaknesses' when he sees them and heaps praise where it is due. If the author did end up having limited sympathy for Shelley perhaps we should be thankful he didn't tackle Byron. Holmes should be congratulated for his objectivity and perspicacity, and I thank him for a book that has greatly strengthened my interest in its subject.