Shortly after the death of William Michael Rossetti
(1829 1919), Welsh poet and essayist Arthur Symons
(1865 - 1945) wrote this essay remembering the man, his brother (Dante Gabriel Rossetti) and the friendship that the two shared with poets George Meredith and Algernon Charles Swinburne.
Jerome K. Jerome (1859 1927) was a British author and playwright from one of the sillier tribes who is best remembered for his humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat (1889). In the attached interview, the humorist laments that the novels in his day (as opposed to our own) so seldom inspire any real use of the mind:
"Books have become the modern narcotic. China has adopted the opium habit for want of fiction. When China obtains each week her 'Greatest Novel Of The Century', her 'Most Thrilling Story Of The Year', her 'Best Selling Book Of The Season' the opium den will be no more needed."
From Amazon: Three Men in a Boat
Drama critic Ruth Woodbury Sedgwick interviewed Irish playwright Seán O'Casey
(1880 1964) for the November, 1934, issue of STAGE MAGAZINE and wrote this piece which clearly illustrated his art and politics.
A review of Harold Nicolson's 1921 biography, "Paul Verlaine". Numerous aspects of Verlaine's life and poetry are discussed as are the roots of French Symbolism.
Virginia Woolf (1882 1941) had her say regarding the novels of E.M. Forster (1879 1970):
"There are a many reasons which should prevent one from criticizing the work of contemporaries... With a novelist like E.M. Forster this is specially true, for he is in any case an author about whom there is considerable disagreement. There is something baffling and evasive in the very nature of his gifts."
Irish author, critic and dramatist, St. John Greer Ervine (1883 - 1971), believed that some of the dramatic characters populating the plays of George Bernard Shaw (1856 1950) were reoccurring characters who could be counted upon to appear again and again. He had a fine time illustrating this point and thinks nothing of stooping to compare Shaw with Shakespeare:
"Shakespeare primarily was interested in people. Mr. Shaw primarily is interested in doctrine..."
Thirty-five years later St. John Ervine would be awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his biography of George Bernard Shaw.
Click here to read various witty remarks by George Bernard Shaw.
*Watch a 1943 Film Clip Depicting the Action-Packed Life-Style of a Librarian*