Fall 1950 • Vol. XII No. 4 Book ReviewsOctober 1, 1950 |

Amphibium in Old Kentucky

World Enough and Time by Robert Penn Warren. Random House. $3.50 Mr. Warren's new novel has not had a very good press. One reviewer, noting its subtitle ("A Romantic Novel") and that its heroine, Rachel Jordan, is a woman "with a bosom rounded to high beauty," has even concluded that it is a pot-boiling historical novel of which Mr. Warren is a little ashamed. But the be-bosomed females of popular historical novels do not suffer Rachel's fate, even in this particular: at the end of Rachel's career La Grand' Bosse says to her with simple brutality: "Va donc, sans-nichons." Out of Mr. Warren's contemplation of the actual murder, in 1825, of Colonel Solomon P. Sharp of Kentucky by a young lawyer named Jeroboah Beauchamp there emerges gradually a compassionate and tragic view of the human situation which makes the whole romantic paraphernalia of the novel (invented by Jerry Beaumont, not by Warren) into a deadly irony. It is Jerry who sees his career―and Rachel's―romantically, w

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Literary critic, Arthur Mizener (1907-1988) was Mellon Foundation Professor of English at Cornell University from 1951 to 1975. In addition to other works, he authored the first biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Far Side of Paradise (1951) along with a biography of Ford Madox Ford, The Saddest Story: A Biography of Ford Madox Ford (1971).

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By Arthur Mizener

World Enough and Time by Robert Penn Warren. Random House. $3.50 Mr. Warren's new novel has not had a very good press. One reviewer, noting its subtitle ("A Romantic Novel") […]

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