This early work by William Lyon Phelps was originally published in 1907 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. 'The Pure Gold of Nineteenth Century Literature' is an essay of literary criticism on the literary output of 19th century Britain. William Lyon Phelps was born on 2nd January 1865, in New Haven, Conneticut, United States. Phelps earned a B.A. in 1887, writing his thesis on the Idealism of George Berkeley. He then gained an M.A. in 1891 from Yale and his PhD from Harvard in the same year. During his time a Yale, he offered a course in modern novels which brought the university considerable attention both nationally and internationally. Phelps published many essays on modern and European literature, including titles such as 'Essays on Modern Novelists' (1910), 'Some Makers of American Literature' (1923), and 'As I Like it' (1923).