Monday, July 14, 2008

Ruskin asked

Coventry Patmore to William Allingham

British Museum, Nov. 6, '54.

My Dear Allingham,
I do not want you to withhold, in noticing my vol. anything a stranger (a judge of poetry) acquainted with my former doings, would infer from the volume itself. Thanks for the paragraph in " The Critic," which I had not seen. A copy was sent to the Dublin University, also to Kingsley--but anonymously. Ruskin had one, also anonymously. Rossetti was with him a day or two after he received it: R. asked him if he had seen or knew anything about "a glorious book called "The Angel in the House"! Alfred Tennyson is also emphatic in his prophecies of Immortality for the same performance.

Hannay has written a notice of it in "The Leader," regarding it from the ultra-pagan point of view, from which of course it looks rather dull. But the notice is respectful, which is the most I could have hoped, or even desired from the "Leader."

The "Spectator" has also noticed it, in the beginning pronouncing it to be an imitation of Tennyson, in the middle, of Petrarch, and in the end declaring that it is a mere echo of Cowley; to complete this specimen of "critical acumen" the poem is bracketed with Gerald Massey.
Yours faithfully,
C. Patmore.

-from Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore By Basil Champneys (London: George Bell and Sons, 1900) p. 178-179.

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