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Carl Van Doren (1885–1950).  The American Novel.  1921.


Page 124

of his fortune. And yet, following even such pagan deeds, Ben-Hur’s discovery that he cannot serve the Messiah with the sword does not seem quite an anticlimax, though the conclusion, dealing with the Passion, like the introductory chapters on the meeting of the Magi, falls below the level of the revenge theme in energy and simplicity. Compared with other romances of the sort, however, with William Ware’s or Ingraham’s for instance, Ben-Hur easily passes them all, by a vitality which probably has a touch of genius. It passes, too, Wallace’s third romance, written while he was ambassador to Turkey, The Prince of India (1893), a long, dull performance with the Wandering Jew as the principal performer.



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