Vaughan, who has edited most of Buckley's books since 1976, has ""selected, assembled and edited with an introduction and sundry comments"" a sprawling, annotated scrapbook of Buckley's nonpolitical jottings on the subject of writing English well. Topics range from notes he's sent people who have dared to correct his grammar, to letters to old friends and enemies on matters dealing with English usage, to book reviews, interviews, selected columns, essays and even obituaries, the last of which are especially flavorful. The book's conclusion is worthy of Dr. Johnson himself, a 100-page ""lexicon"" of words and phrases--partita, paternalistic, paucity, pedagogical--used over the years by Buckley. Much of this book has already appeared in print scattered over a lifetime of publishing, but Buckley's admirers will be delighted by the generous sampling of the author's correspondence. Vaughan's notes, introductions and running commentary more than do the job of holding together this sometimes unwieldy collection. They are downright entertaining in themselves. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1996 Release date: 12/01/1996 Genre: Nonfiction
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