C. Q. Drummond

In Defence of Adam
Essays on Bunyan, Milton and Others

edited by John Baxter and Gordon Harvey

978 0 907839 89 7     xiv + 272 pages, royal 8vo     paperback     16.00

The late C. Q. Drummond was loved by generations of students as an inspirational and wide-ranging professor of literature. His genius came out in conversation, and he published too little to satisfy his university authorities. What he did publish, collected in this volume, was first rate, and he left unpublished the short book about Bunyan with which this collection opens. Edited by two of Drummond’s pupils, In Defence of Adam will at last make his thinking available to those who were not lucky enough to be in his audiences, and will make for those who knew him a permanent and stirring memorial.
        In its treatment of The Pilgrim’s Progress, Paradise Lost and English lyric poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this book is a critical rarity. C. Q. Drummond is penetrating about the works he discusses, and presents Jonson, Sidney and Donne as vividly immediate poets, but his driving force is not academic clarification. He approaches Bunyan and Milton as someone gripped by, but unable simply to accept the standard account of, their imaginative power. He develops some adverse criticisms of the shortcomings of Paradise Lost while recognizing the poem as possessing the great love poetry of the language. So where does that leave us? What can The Pilgrim’s Progress mean to the modern non-believer?
        Drummond’s answers may help to keep some of our great classics alive in the changing present. The final section discusses, in some particular instances and in general, questions about the role of the university and helps to define the essays’ assumptions about what the study of literature should be.


Contents

Editors’ Preface
Believing and Coming in The Pilgrim’s Progress
An Anti-Miltonist Reprise: I The Milton Controversy
II Antagonistic Styles and Contradictory Demands
III Satan, or, God Damns His Angels
IV Adam and Eve, or, God Hates Love
Milton’s Daring: Approaches to Impiety
Style in Ralegh’s Short Poems
Belief and Poetic Structure: Jonson’s Epigrams on the Death of his Daughter and the Death of his Son
What is Rational Form in Poetry?
Disproportion in the Poetry of Sidney and Donne
News from Boredom: Reviewing in America
Sequence and Consequence in The Pilgrim’s Progress
Nature: Meek Ass or White Whale?
Whalley on Mimesis and Tragedy
On the Duties of Professors


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Emeritus Professor Fred Robinson of Yale says:

“I first read the last essay (about teaching and research). I found it thoughtful and interesting and I agreed with much of it, but there was a hint of a defensive tone that made me a little uncomfortable. Then I read the marvelous chapters on Paradise Lost. This is the best thing I can remember having read about the poem. No one should be allowed to teach a course in Paradise Lost (whether on the high-school, undergraduate or graduate level) without first reading this splendid, profound series of essays.”

 

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