Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tobias Smollett

...Upon the whole, the genius of Smollett may be said to resemble that of Rubens. His pictures are often deficient in grace; sometimes coarse, and even vulgar in conceptions; deficient in keeping, and in the due subordination of parts to each other; and intimating too much carelessness on the part of the artist. But these faults are redeemed by such richness and brilliancy of colours ; such a profusion of imagination — now bodying forth the grand and terrible—now the natural, the easy, and the ludicrous ; there is so much of life, action, and bustle, in every group he has painted ; so much force and individuality of character,—that we readily grant to Smollett an equal rank with his great rival Fielding, while we place both far above any of their successors in the same line of fictitious composition.
Abbotsford, 1st June, 1821.

Thus Sir Walter Scott summed up his biography of Tobias Smollett, which is published as part of his "Miscellaneous Works".  The author of "The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle", "The Adventures of Roderick Ransom", "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker", and several other works, died on September 17, 1771.

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