I May Not Perhaps Coincide With Them In Every Respect.
if I be right as to the names which I have given, such a selection
shows that they do get beyond novels.
I have little doubt but that
many more copies of Dickens's novels have been sold, during the last
three years, than of the works either of Tennyson or Buckle; but
such also has been the case in England. It will probably be
admitted that one copy of the "Civilization" should be held as being
equal to five and twenty of "Nicholas Nickleby," and that a single
"In Memoriam" may fairly weigh down half a dozen "Pickwicks." Men
and women after their day's work are not always up to the
"Civilization." As a rule, they are generally up to "Proverbial
Philosophy," and this, perhaps, may have had something to do with
the great popularity of that very popular work.
I would not have it supposed that American readers despise their own
authors. The Americans are very proud of having a literature of
their own, and among the literary names which they honor, there are
none more honorable than those of Cooper and Irving. They like to
know that their modern historians are acknowledged as great authors,
and as regards their own poets, will sometimes demand your
admiration for strains with which you hardly find yourself to be
familiar. But English books are, I think, the better loved: even
the English books of the present day. And even beyond this - with
those who choose to indulge in the luxuries of literature - books
printed in England are more popular than those which are printed in
their own country; and yet the manner in which the American
publishers put out their work is very good.
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