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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 4 0 Browse Search
Cambridge sketches (ed. Estelle M. H. Merrill) 2 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, VI (search)
ollege librarians, they often say in return, Have you looked in Larousse?Now, when one looks in Larousse to see who Robert Browning was, one finds the statement that the genius of Browning is more analogous to that of his American contemporaries Emerton, Wendell Holmes, and Bigelow than to that of any English poet (celle de n'importe quel poete anglais.) This transformation of Emerson into Emerton, and of Lowell, probably, to Bigelow, is hardly more extraordinary than to link together three sucEmerton, and of Lowell, probably, to Bigelow, is hardly more extraordinary than to link together three such dissimilar poets, and compare Browning to all three of them, or, indeed, to either of the three. Yet it gives us the high-water mark of what contemporaneous posterity has to offer. The criticism of another nation can, no doubt, offer some advantages of its own—a fresh pair of eyes and freedom from cliques; but a foreigner can be no judge of local coloring, whether in nature or manners. The mere knowledge of the history of a nation may be essential to a knowledge of its art. So far as l