Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage

By Michael Thorpe | Go to book overview

THE POEMS AND PROSE REMAINS

1869

NOTE ON THE CONTENTS

With the partial exception of H. S. Milford’s Poems of Clough (1910), this was the most complete edition of Clough’s work to have been published before the standard edition which appeared in 1951. It was re-issued in 1871 with Mrs Clough’s ‘Memoir’ abridged, and subsequently in 1874, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880 and 1882. All these printings were called by the publishers, Macmillan, the ‘Third Edition’ —Palgrave’s Poems of 1862 being the First and his revised version of 1863 the Second. A Fourth Edition, identical with the Third, appeared in 1883 and was reprinted in 1885.

Mrs Clough’s edition contains many important poems previously unpublished (for full details see A. H. C. Descr. Cat. 35-8). Her 54-page ‘Memoir’ is considerably longer than Palgrave’s, filled out by lengthy reminiscences contributed by several of Clough’s friends and acquaintances, but it contains no noteworthy critical comment; neither is its tone of extenuation better calculated than Palgrave’s to win Clough fresh readers. Palgrave’s briefer and better phrased ‘Memoir’ has therefore been preferred for inclusion here as the earliest and probably most influential representative of the well-intentioned apologias Clough’s reputation had to contend with.

In her Preface Mrs Clough pays tribute to ‘the valuable assistance which she has received in making these selections and in arranging these volumes from Mr J. A. Symonds, to whose taste and judgment any measure of success that may have been achieved is chiefly due’. This, no doubt, being the case, the essay by Symonds that follows here, though it antedates the publication of The Poems and Prose Remains by a few months, may be regarded as, in effect, the true editor’s Introduction.

-218-

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