Longus, Daphnis and Chloe

Daphnis and Chloe by Longus My rating: 4 of 5 stars This early pastoral romance (dating from the second or third century A.D.) is both entertaining in itself and a good corrective to the received wisdom that the novel is a quintessential invention of Cervantes or capitalism or Protestantism or the eighteenth century. Though brief … Continue reading Longus, Daphnis and Chloe

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle My rating: 3 of 5 stars A few years ago, while studying the fin de siècle, I figured I should read some Sherlock Holmes, beyond whatever redacted-for-children versions I’d read when my age was in the single digits (remember Illustrated Classic Editions? I absolutely loved them—they used … Continue reading Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four

William Shakespeare, Cymbeline

The Tragedy of Cymbeline by William Shakespeare My rating: 4 of 5 stars It seems obligatory when discussing Shakespeare’s late romance Cymbeline to begin with Samuel Johnson’s dismissal of it: This play has many just sentiments, some natural dialogues, and some pleasing scenes, but they are obtained at the expense of much incongruity. To remark … Continue reading William Shakespeare, Cymbeline