Algernon Swinburne: The Critical Heritage

By Clyde K. Hyder | Go to book overview

OBITER DICTA BY CONTEMPORARY MEN OF LETTERS

14(a).

Alfred Tennyson

Swinburne admired much of Tennyson’s work, but as a representative of the new poetry he challenged comparison with the older poet, particularly in the treatment of Arthurian themes. Though some of Tennyson’s comments on Swinburne were admiring, D. G. Rossetti’s letter to him, cited below, indicates his reservations about Poems and Ballads. He resented Swinburne’s criticism of his work, too. Finally, ‘Birthday Ode’ and ‘Threnody’ were pleasant tributes by the younger to the elder poet. The selections from the Memoir are used by special permission of Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

(i) From Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Memoir by His Son, i, 425 (under ‘1858’): I must tell you however that young Swinburne called here the other day with a college friend of his, and we asked him to dinner, and I thought him a very modest and intelligent young fellow. Moreover I read him what you indicated [Maud], but what I particularly admired in him was that he did not press upon me any verses of his own.

(ii) Memoir, i, 496: Accept my congratulations on the success of your Greek play [Atalanta in Calydon]. I had some strong objections to parts of it, but these I think have been modified by a re-perusal, and at any rate I daresay you would not care to hear them; here however is one. Is it fair for a Greek chorus to abuse the Deity something in the style of the Hebrew prophets?

Altogether it is many a long day since I have read anything so fine; for it is not only carefully written, but it has both strength and splendour, and shows moreover that you have a fine metrical invention which I envy you.

-112-

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Algernon Swinburne: The Critical Heritage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • General Editor's Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Notes xlv
  • Acknowledgments l
  • Note on the Text li
  • The Queen-Mother and Rosamond 1
  • 1 - Unsigned Notice, Spectator 1
  • 2 - Unsigned Notice, Athenaeum 2
  • Some Views of the Young Swinburne 3
  • Atalanta in Calydon 9
  • 4 - Unsigned Review, Saturday Review 9
  • Chastelard 17
  • 5 - Unsigned Review, Athenaeum 17
  • Poems and Ballads 22
  • 6 - John Morley, Saturday Review 22
  • 7 - Robert Buchanan, Athenaeum 30
  • 8 - Unsigned Review, London Review 35
  • 9 - Buchanan: 'The Session of the Poets', Spectator 39
  • 10 - Henry Morley, Examiner 42
  • 11 - Swinburne Defends His Poems 49
  • 12 - W. M. Rossetti, Swinburne's Poems and Ballads 57
  • 13 - Alfred Austin: 'Mr. Swinburne' 92
  • Obiter Dicta by Contemporary Men of Letters 112
  • 14(a) - Alfred Tennyson 112
  • 14(b) - Robert Browning 114
  • 14(c) - Matthew Arnold 116
  • 14(d) - Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson 118
  • 14(e) - John Ruskin 120
  • 14(f) - William Morris 123
  • 14(g) - George Meredith 124
  • 14(h) - Edward Lytton Bulwer-Lytton 125
  • Songs Before Sunrise 127
  • 15 - Unsigned Review, Saturday Review 127
  • 16 - Unsigned Review, Edinburgh Review 133
  • 17 - Franz Hüffer, Academy 139
  • 18 - Swinburne on Robert Buchanan's Self-Revelations 146
  • 19 - A. C. Hilton: 'Octopus' 156
  • 20 - E. C. Stedman on Swinburne 158
  • Erechtheus 163
  • 21 - John Addington Symonds, Review, Academy 163
  • 22 - W. K. Clifford on Songs Before Sunrise 170
  • Poems and Ballads: Second Series 177
  • 23 - Theodore Watts, Athenaeum 177
  • 24 - Maupassant on Swinburne 185
  • 25 - F. W. H. Myers on Swinburne's Weltanschauung 188
  • 26 - George Saintsbury: 'Mr. Swinburne' 198
  • 27 - William Morton Payne: 'Algernon Charles Swinburne' 207
  • 28 - An Imaginary Correspondence 213
  • 29 - Swinburne: a Backward Glance 215
  • 30 - Oliver Elton: 'Mr. Swinburne's Poems' 218
  • 31 - Max Beerbohm: 'No. 2 the Pines' 233
  • Index 251
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