The Continental Model was first published in 1960. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The pervasive influence of seventeenth-century French criticism upon eighteenth-century English criticism makes it important for students of English and comparative literature to be familiar with the most important of the French works. Professors Elledge and Schier bring together here, in translation, some of the best examples of the French essays. They have chosen particularly works that are not otherwise available in translation.
Some of the translations are by contemporaries of the period. These are of works by d'Aubignac, Saint-Evremond, Huet, Rapin, Le Bossu, Bouhours, La Bruyere, and Fontenelle. Other selections have been translated by Professor Schier, and these include works of Chapelain, Sarasin, Scudery, Corneille, Bouhours, and Fontenelle.
The editors provide brief and pertinent comment on each writer and his place in literary history. They have also annotated the essays in order to save time for the reader who encounters references to other literatures not immediately clear to him. The volume as a whole provides a comprehensive and balanced selection of critical texts which were known to, used by, and significant in their influence upon writers such as Dryden, Dennis, Addison, Swift, Pope, and others.