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The novel of growing up and finding one’s place in the world is the subject of Jerome Buckley’s new book. It is the first full-scale study of the Bildungsroman in the English tradition. The author selects for detailed examination a dozen major novels, and many minor ones, that are representative of the genre and also demonstrate the range of variations it encompasses. Since most of the novels are at least in part autobiographical, his knowledge of the lives of the writers enables him to throw light on puzzling features of the novels. He also brings to bear on his readings the critical acumen and analytical insight we have all come to expect from him. Buckley’s essay proceeds chronologically, from Dickens to Golding, an arrangement that allows a view of the development of the genre, a correlation with changing mores from 1850 to 1960, and an indication of new techniques of narration and characterization over that period.