The materials of the novelist must be real; they must be gathered from the field of humanity by his actual observation.
Category Archive: Goldwin Smith
The novelist must ground his work in faithful study of human nature.
Dante himself is open to the suspicion of partiality: it is said, not without apparent ground, that he puts into hell all the enemies of the political cause, which, in his eyes, was that of Italy and God.
America is supposed to be given over to ugliness. There are a good many ugly things there and the ugliest are the most pretentious.
Rome was great in arms, in government, in law.
As to London we must console ourselves with the thought that if life outside is less poetic than it was in the days of old, inwardly its poetry is much deeper.
No student of history can fail to see the moral interest of the Middle Ages, any more than an artist can fail to see their aesthetic interest.
If it were a real effort to live in the Middle Ages, your life would be one perpetual prevarication.
But if anyone supposes that there was no commercial fraud in the Middle Ages, let him study the commercial legislation of England for that period, and his mind will be satisfied, if he has a mind to be satisfied and not only a fancy to run away with him.
Yet for my part, deeply as I am moved by the religious architecture of the Middle Ages, I cannot honestly say that I ever felt the slightest emotion in any modern Gothic church.