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  • Writer's pictureEmma Beatty

BOOK REVIEW: The review of English Studies, Jonathan Sachs

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Excerpt: "Bernard Beatty’s offers a dazzling series of insights from a venerable Byron scholar. Consisting mostly of well-situated close readings, the book is organized into three sections on poems, life, and politics, as indicated by its subtitle. Clusters of essays on these topics are then followed by two interviews between Beatty and his former student, Gavin Hopps, now a formidable Byron scholar in his own right. Essays in the first section on Byron’s poetry are composed for the occasion of this volume, while the other two sections offer slightly modified versions of earlier essays and lectures. Accordingly, the essays collected within each section do not necessarily contribute to a sustained claim, nor do the sections build upon each other. But that is not Beatty’s point here. Instead, he insists that while his essays seek to capture Byron’s own comprehensiveness, they ‘do not aim to be comprehensive in themselves’ (p. xv). There is, therefore, a miscellaneous quality to this volume; but when a scholar like Beatty offers a set of reflections on Byron, those interested in Byron’s work will want to sit up and take note. They will not be disappointed here."

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