The Letters of Matthew Arnold 1829–1888
Complete in six volumes
First editions, hardback in dustwrapper. Six volumes, complete. Each: 24 × 16cm. Vol 1: lxx , 549pp, vol 2: xxi, 505pp, vol 3: xxi, 483pp, vol 4: xxii, 465pp, vol 5: xxiii, 500pp, vol 6: xxiii, 552pp.
The University Press of Virginia edition of The Letters of Matthew Arnold, edited by Cecil Y. Lang, represents the most comprehensive and assiduously annotated collection of Arnold's correspondence available. Complete in six volumes, this edition includes close to four thousand letters, nearly five times the number in G.W.E. Russell's two-volume compilation of 1895. The letters, at once meaty and delightful, appear with a consecutiveness rare in such editions, and they contain a great deal of new information, both personal (sometimes intimate) and professional. Two new diaries are included, a handful of letters to Matthew Arnold, and many of his own that will appear in their entirety here for the first time. Renowned as a poet and critic, Arnold will be celebrated now as a letter writer. Nowhere else is Arnold's appreciation of life and literature so extravagantly evident as in his correspondence. His letters amplify the dark vision of his own verse, as well as the moral background of his criticism. As Cecil Lang writes, the letters "may well be the finest portrait of an age and of a person, representing the main movements of mind and of events of nearly half a century and at the same time revealing the intimate life of the participant-observer, in any collection of letters in the nineteenth century, possibly in existence."
This set is in very good condition. There is a little wear, namely a light dusting to the page edges, slight rippling to the top edge of the wrapper to vol 3, and volume 4 has a faint lean to the spine. Otherwise, the pages are clean, the wrappers tidy and the inner bindings secure. A heavy set at 8kgs.
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