From Library Journal
In this first volume of a biography of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Boyle (Cambridge Univ.) attempts to place the genius in his age, both as an enlightened observer of the politics, science, and art of his day, and as the superb poet who brought German literature into a national consciousness of its own place. This lengthy study is directed to the educated reader unfamiliar with German language or literature, as well as to the student of Goethe. Quoted passages are given in the German original and in translation. Chapter sections are alternatively biographical or literary criticism. The exhaustive detail (with numerous footnotes) is at times overwhelming. This will become the definitive English work on Goethe for the 20th century, as George Henry Lewe's outstanding biography ( Life of Goethe , 1855) was for the 19th century. Recommended for all academic libraries.- Ingrid Schierling, Univ. of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
`THE first volume of Nicholas Boyle's Goethe: The Poet and the Age promises well for the second and the complete work will doubtless rank among the few important English books on Goethe to appear since 1949,...This is an enjoyable , erudite book for which the scholars and students whom he addresses will be grateful. It contains a full index and notes and thirty-seven well-chosen illustrations. Translations are given of all German passages cited. We look forward to volume II.' K.G. Knight, Notes and Queries
`Vivid, lucid and pleasurable...reads like a fine novel, yet is also quietly encyclopedic.' Times Higher Educational Supplement
`biography at its best' Doris Lessing, Independent
`The enthralling and meticulous first volume of Nicholas Boyle's Goethe: The Poet and the Age (Oxford #25) makes up for decades of British indifference.' Michael Ratcliffe, Observer
`a biography of profound scholarship and classically elegant prose, measured yet never booming or boring' Rupert Christansen, Observer
`Index and notes are of an impeccable care and learning.' Hardy Amies, Daily Telegraph
'This landmark work takes us exactly half way through Goethe's life. The completion of Boyle's mighty synthesis is eagerly awaited.' Taxon 41 (May 1991)
'magisterial life of Goethe' John Batchelor, British Book News, September 1993
'The first question that can reasonably be put about a work of these dimensions ... is whether its length is justified by the scope of its subject and its usefulness to students and scholars. That this is undoubtedly so is ... a tribute to the meticulous and scholarly way in which Boyle has gathered and arranged his material ... in this volume Boyle has not only laid a sound foundation for the understanding of Goethe's prodigious output in the second half of his life; he has provided an immensely informative overview of the intellectual and cultural context of Goethe's early career and a readable and authoritative account of his personal and literary development up to and including the Italian Journey.' Forum for Modern Language Studies, Volume XXIX No. 3, July 1993
'This is the first volume of what will surely be the most comprehensive and authorititative biography of Goethe in English. Boyle's record of the first forty years of Goethe's life is minutely detailed, but also establishes a firmly structured profile of his work and his creative personality in a dense but lucid account of the poet's personal and public relations. Boyle's sober account of the life and works is not without moments of humour, even hilarity. Boyle also provides an exhaustive account in breadth and depth of the Age in which and, more often than not, against which Goethe's genius asserted itself.' John R. Williams, University of St. Andrews, New German Studies, Volume 17, Number 2, 1992/93