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On the Art of Writing [Paperback]

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 10, 2006 048645004X 978-0486450049
"The art of writing is a living business," declares Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in the Preface to this classic. "Literature is not a mere science, to be studied; but an art, to be practiced. Great as is our own literature, we must consider it as a legacy to be improved . . . if we persist in striving to write well, we can easily resign to other nations all the secondary fame."
Renowned as a critic, teacher, and educational reformer, Quiller-Couch delivered a series of lectures at the University of Cambridge in 1913-14. His subjects--the artistic and vital nature of language as well as the skills needed to convey and receive the written word--remain as timeless as his advice. This book contains the eminent scholar's remarks from those lectures on the practice of writing, the difference between verse and prose, the use of jargon, the history of English literature, the ways in which English literature is taught at the university, and the importance of style. The principles and practical guidelines he sets forth in this volume offer aspiring writers an enduring source of guidance.

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On the Art of Writing + On The Art of Reading + Q's Legacy
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944), who often published under the pen-name of 'Q', was one of the giants of early twentieth-century literature and literary criticism. A novelist and poet who was also a Professor of English, he helped to form the literary tastes of generations of literary students and scholars who came after him. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (21 November 1863 – 12 May 1944) was a British writer who published under the pen name of Q. He is primarily remembered for the monumental Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900 (later extended to 1918), and for his literary criticism. He guided the taste of many who never met him, including American writer Helene Hanff, author of 84, Charing Cross Road and its sequel, Q's Legacy; and the fictional Horace Rumpole, via John Mortimer, his literary amanuensis. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048645004X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486450049
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
This slender volume is the book that began Helene Hanff's journey -- a path that led eventually to her writing the 84, CHARING CROSS ROAD series. Because I loved her books, I wondered what the master who taught her might have had to say. All I knew of him was what I had learned through Ms. Hanff.

This series of lectures, delivered in England more than nine decades ago, sparkles with a dry wit that is utterly endearing. No wonder his students loved him. Still, for someone who is the product of a late-20th century education, I must admit I was appalled by my ignorance of the classical references he made, expecting that his students would follow them with ease. Not a light-weight book, despite its compact size.

His challenge to his students, put forth in the first lecture, was to become a person [he said a man, but the statement applies to all of us] "of unmistakable intellectual breeding, whose trained judgment we can trust to choose the better and reject the worse." Not a bad goal for anyone, is it?

A word of warning. He quotes in Greek here and there -- and does not translate it, since all his students were expected to understand that language. Ditto Latin.

If you can manage only two chapters, try the first "Inaugural" and the last "On Style."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read! April 7, 2008
By sew
I bought this with "Q's" On the Art of Reading. I'm halfway through this one and can't wait to start the other one. I'm constantly going back to review my old Latin/Greek HS and university readings and have enjoyed the process immensely.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Art of Writing February 14, 2008
By Sally
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a classic on the subject of writing.It was a favorite of Helene Hanff, author of 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. In a third book, Q's Legacy, she relates how studying this book became the core of her writing education.She found Q to be both articulate and humorous.I find I agree.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be mandatory reading August 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For every student in the US or user of the English ( both US and the other one ) language . Q is not well know over here but his work is the foundation for the brilliant novels by by Helene Hanff , 84 Charing Cross Road and others. If you want to see how to really write comprehensively even in the electronic age curl up ( yes indeed ) with Q for the weekend
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reading or writing, you need this book November 26, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I learned about this book from another book, one written by Helene Hanff, who learned her writing skills from it, and had to see for myself what was so special about it. She is right, it is special and is actually a guide to becoming a well-read person, too.
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