Algernon Swinburne: The Critical Heritage

By Clyde K. Hyder | Go to book overview

SONGS BEFORE SUNRISE

1871


15.

Unsigned review, Saturday Review

14 January 1871, xxxi, 54-5

Notable for captiousness and unfairness, the following review begins with a comparison which Swinburne referred to in Under the Microscope.

It was once our fortune, in one of our walks, to come upon a naughty little boy who was challenging the admiration of a small knot of his playfellows. He stood by the side of a large puddle and announced his attention to walk boldly into it. It was in vain that the little girls of the company reminded him of the precepts of virtue, and held the wrath of his nurse and mother over his head. In contempt of all such exhortations and threats he dashed in, scattered the muddy water about, and splashed himself and all the rest from top to toe. Finding that this daring action, even if it was regarded with disapproval, yet met with no small amount of admiration, he went to still further lengths. He danced about in the puddle, he then stooped down and dipped his head into it, and at last, rising (or sinking) to a pitch of heroic defiance of all law and custom, he lay down and had a good roll in it. Greatness could go no further than this. He was like Alexander when he had no lands left to conquer, and he saw that there was nothing remaining for him to do but to have a second and a third roll. The reproofs which he received from the more timid and proper among his playfellows, and the applause which he received from the more daring and turbulent spirits, produced the same effect. They only urged him on to revel more than ever in his muddy puddle. He evidently delighted in the thought that he was the naughtiest of the

-127-

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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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