Brandes, the Danish critic, is known as one of the great European letter writers. Many of his letters were about business, or gave advice to aspiring authors, but others were written to the great political and cultural figures of his time. They trace the great critic’s development from a young, sometimes arrogant, novice to a world-famous figure, one of the voices to which Europe listened.
Jones has translated them well. After a riveting account of his conversations with Mill, we move on to his personal impressions of Ibsen, and his own bitterness at being unable to write creatively and at being confined to a little-known language – The TLS