Percy: Prelate and Poet (Classic Reprint)
There are few modern books to which the much-abused epithet of 'epoch-making' is more applicable than to Bishop Percy's 'Reliques.' For while, on the one hand, that famous work gave the impulse to a whole world of research into native ballad-poetry, it is, on the other hand, acknowledged to have been the main literary influence in the great poetic revival which dates from the publication of the 'Lyrical Ballads' in 1798. Thus Wordsworth assigns not only the highest importance to Percy's labours, but the highest praise to Percy's taste: Coleridge's 'Ancient Mariner' is the very apotheosis of ballad-poetry, and it is seldom indeed that we are privileged to see the development of genius in such active operation as in the scene where the boy Walter Scott becomes lost in a day-dream over the book which, as he himself stated in later life, he had read oftener and with more enthusiasm than any other.
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