Traces the evolution of the Romantic approach to literary criticism and compares it to the other methods which prevailed in the early nineteenth century.
"One of the five works published within the last thirty years which in the opinion of representative scholars and critics have contributed most to the understanding of literature."--Contemporary Literary Scholarship
"Abrams has written a remarkable book on the history of criticism, the most distinguished contribution of American scholarship in that field since the work of J.E. Spingarn."--Comparative Literature
"The book is so rich in thought that it is invaluable for students of the romantic movement and indeed of the whole theory of criticism. I regard it as one of the most distinguished achievements of American literary scholarship of our day."--Modern Philology
"With this book, M.H. Abrams has given us a remarkable study, admirably conceived and executed, a book of quite exceptional and no doubt lasting significance for a number of fields--for the history of ideas and comparative literature as well as for English literary history, criticism, and aesthetics."--Modern Language Journal
"The past forty years have seen many attempts at ordering our ideas about literature; The Mirror and the Lamp stands out among them as a unique combination of rich historical scholarship and hard-won clarity of thought."--The Times Literary Supplement (London)