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Henry Hatfield’s study, first published in a paperback edition by New Directions in 1963, presents an instructive and succinct examination of all Goethe’s major compositions and many of his poems, with particular attention paid to Faust, the acknowledged masterpiece of German literature. No knowledge of German is assumed and the author includes prose translations of the lyric poetry quoted in the original. Although the book is primarily a critical guide to the works themselves, Hatfield provides a brief informative account of Goethe’s life, of the period in which he wrote, and of the men whose thought contributed to the development of their greater contemporary.