Christopher Caudwell was the pseudonym of Christopher St. John Sprigg, a British journalist and professional writer who became an important philosopher and critic in the 1930's, author of Illusion and Reality and Studies in a Dying Culture.
In the mid-thirties Caudwell joined the Communist Party; he died in 1937 in the defense of Madrid, leaving the manuscript of Romance and Realism unpublished. This short but comprehensive book is a Marxist interpretation of English literature from Shakespeare to Spender. The author follows the course of English history-the end of feudalism, the age of exploration, the rise of the common man, industrialization, science- producing his particular synthesis of literature as a subjective experience (romance) and as a response to society (realism). The major writers and movements of English literature are discussed, often with brilliant observations.
Romance and Realism is important as Marxist criticism, as a reflection of the acrid definitions of the writers of the thirties (including Auden, Orwell, C. Day Lewis), and as the highly personal view of a talented critic.
Originally published in 1971.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Table of Contents:
- Frontmatter, pg. i
- Introduction, pg. 1
- Romance and Realism. A Study in English Bourgeois Literature, pg. 31
- Index, pg. 141