Selections from Bryon: "The Prisoner of Chillon," "Mazeppa," and Other Poems. Samuel Marion Tucker
The School Review
These selections may be regarded, according to the editor, as a body of literary models based upon a single theme-the theory of style. Most books of literary models, insists Professor Cooper, are a collection of literary scraps, beginning with a description of a glacier and ending with a chapter from Darwin's Descent of Man. Such miscellaneous selections are lacking in the power of co-ordinating the processes of the youthful brain. Such a feast of scraps must, pedagogically speaking, end in
... peaking, end in scraps of expression. Form and substance, expression and knowledge ought never to be broken. Few teachers will disagree with Professor Cooper on this point. Another possible application of the volume is the opportunity of doing some purely theoretical investigation of the essay and the address on style. Such a research, however, lies beyond the secondary pupil. Again, the book may serve as a book of reference, for it contains those historic utterances on style arranged in rough chronological order-with the exception of Wackernagel's essay-which are necessary for even a complete casual acquaintance with the development of prose style. Even secondary pupils, we believe, will read much in this book which will interest them more, and have more direct results than the reading of less soulless rhetorics. Whether or not we have justified our enthusiasm for Professor Cooper's book is immaterial. It may be that the credit for our pleasure and profit in reading the volume should be given to the classic discourses themselves. Let the praise fall where it will, on the classic utterances or on the editor's judicious management of the essays, or on both, we are confident that if teachers of English who do not know the historic course of prose and theory, will read this book diligently they will thank Professor Cooper for bringing such a wealth of knowledge and profit to them in such compact form.