SIR FRANK KERMODE may well be the best-read man in Britain. In the scope and depth of his learning, he is probablv unrivalled. Enelish dons and readers of the London ~kew of Books ha; known this for decades. Thanks to books like Shakespeare's Language, whose combination of erudition and elegance made it a surprise bestseller in 2000, his reputation continues to spread among nonspecialist readers as he approaches his eighty-fourth birthday.
This hefty new collection showcases some of Kermode's more recherché scholarly work of the past forty years. The bulk of it is made up of extracts fiom hs books The Seme of an Ending, The Classic, The Genesis of Secrecy, Forms of Attention, and History and Ihlue. Thrown into the