Peter Porter

Master surveyor of many territories

This volume of several pounds weight and over 600 pages duration is an undeniably serious estimation of the last 250 years of European and American literature. The word panoptic might have been coined for Bayley: if not the monarch, he is at least the master of all he surveys. His readers had better be almost as universal, since his critical method is to assume that with so much known his duty is to adorn the facts with a few paradoxical interpretations.

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