Percival Hunt (1878-1968) was professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh.
The ability to write well is difficult to gain. To write beyond the ordinary—beyond the clear and effective paragraph or book—needs craft, patience, and practice. And it has always required something more: genius, magic, a supreme gift. Professor Hunt in The Gift of the Unicorn binds the two—the craft and the gift—under a unifying light, showing both writer and reader the how and why and perhaps of good writing and of the writing that has gained, in HuntÆs words, “the friendship of time” and is called literature.Essays include: “Beginning,” “The Web of Writing,” “The Telling,” “Spontaneity,” “Disciplined Writing,” “The Story,” “The People in the Book,” “Of Rules, Again,” and “Ending.”
From the text:”Too often, it is overlooked or its meaning blurred. It comes between the brightness of the 1300Æs—ChaucerÆs time—and the time of Elizabeth I. Looking into it, we may be so dazzled by the two bright centuries which bound it that it is a dim space of time with no exact shape or clear colors in it. Yet the whole century was active, practical, strong, unique, humane, searching and changing, mystical.”