The Pequod Review:
The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters is an informative and well-researched history of key figures in Western literary studies. The book covers not just Carlyle and Thackeray but more obscure names like William Maginn (founder of Fraser’s Magazine), R. H. Hutton, Henry Morley, Edmund Gosse, and Andrew Lang. I especially enjoyed John Gross’s discussion of the orthodoxies and conventional wisdom that led to various types of biases in these critics' work. This is not merely a modern phenomenon.