This book, the first of its kind, is an attempt to offer a justification for the teaching of literature in schools and universities, and is intended as a contribution to the philosophy of literary education. The issues which Dr Gribble discusses could all be bracketed under the general heading of the relationship between literature and life. The book is written for those readers and teachers of literature who step back from their immediate engagement with a novel, play, or poem and ask such questions as 'What knowledge or understanding, if any, have I gained from the work? Of what significance is the author's intention to my view of the work? What moral value does the work possess? What kinds of feelings or emotions did I experience? How did my identification with certain characters influence my response? In what way did the moral significance or emotional impact depend upon the quality of the writing? What part does critical analysis play in determining the answers to any of these questions?'. Dr Gribble's treatment of these issues is neither technical nor abstract but advanced on the basis of particular examples drawn from a wide range of literature. Written in a lively and lucid style the book will interest all serious readers of literature, although it is primarily directed at those who teach literature in schools, colleges, and universities and who are necessarily concerned with the educative value of reading and discussing literature.