Publisher Description

This is a literature book. To the last Lord Lyttelton was poet enough to feel true fellowship with poets of his day. He loved good literature, and his own works show that he knew it. He counted Henry Fielding among his friends; he was a friend and helper to James Thomson, the author of 'The Seasons;' and when acting as secretary to the king’s son, Frederick, Prince of Wales (who held a little court of his own, in which there was much said about liberty), his friendship brought Thomson and Mallet together in work on a masque for the Prince and Princess, which included the song of 'Rule Britannia'. Before Lord Lyttelton followed their example, 'Dialogues of the Dead' had been written by Lucian, and by Fenelon, and by Fontenelle; and in our time they have been written by Walter Savage Landor. This half-dramatic plan of presenting a man’s own thoughts upon the life of man and characters of men, and on the issues of men’s characters in shaping life, is a way of essay writing pleasant alike to the writer and the reader. Lord Lyttelton was at his best in it. In the Preface to his revised edition Lord Lyttelton said, “Sometimes a new dress may render an old truth more pleasing to those whom the mere love of novelty betrays into error, as it frequently does not only the wits, but the sages of these days. Indeed, one of the best services that could now be done to mankind by any good writer would be the bringing them back to common sense, from which the desire of shining by extraordinary notions has seduced great numbers, to the no small detriment of morality and of all real knowledge.

Fiction & Literature
February 3
Public Domain