John Gross is theatre critic of the Sunday Telegraph and former editor of the Times Literary Supplement. For a number of years he was also a staff writer for the New York Times in New York. His other books include the classic study The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters, and the widely acclaimed Shylock: Four Hundred Years in the Life of a Legend. He lives in London.
A very intelligent, interesting, and intensely readable book. -- Isaiah Berlin No praise can be too high...remarkable for its balance and sense of perspective. -- Noel Annan The New York Review Of Books Strewn with marvelous bits: deft apercus, biographical portraits of great subtlety and force, wit, commonsensical intelligence everywhere. No one who cares about the state of literature can afford to neglect this book. -- Joseph Epstein A brilliant account of English literary culture, as engaging as it is illuminating. -- Lionel Trilling