Lanterns & Lances



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Thurber, James. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books (1980). . Reprint. Trade paperback xxii, 180 pages. Illustrated by the author. Introduction by Peter De Vries. A clean, attractive copy. “Lanterns & Lances was the last of Thurber’s books published before his death in 1961, and it is a splendid collection of his miniatures. It contains an eloquent denunciation of man-eating (or it least, Thurber feared, Thurber-eating) house cats. There is a wise, witty and graceful consideration of Henry James’ The Wings of the Dove, with not a bulldog mentioned. It is written with such quiet skill that the reader momentarily mislays the reasons (there must be reasons) why literary criticism is so seldom witty, graceful or wise. And there is a fable, ‘The Last Clock,’ which in everything except size is the equal of Thurber’s beautiful long fairy story, The Thirteen Clocks.” Book: Very Good. Dust Jacket: .