The Poetry of Crabbe

The Poetry of Crabbe

The Poetry of Crabbe

The Poetry of Crabbe

Excerpt

'Mr. Crabbe is one of the most popular and admired of our living authors.' So Hazlitt wrote in 1825. That Crabbe's popularity was soon extinguished is not surprising. 'Pope in worsted stockings'--this unlucky epigram alone, in an age with no very high opinion of Pope himself, would suffice to discourage the general reader. Some admirers, indeed, were still to be found. Crabbe was acknowledged by Tennyson to have 'a world of his own'; Clough paid him the tribute of imitation; FitzGerald tirelessly canvassed his merits in letters to friends; Hardy received from his work his earliest impetus towards realism. But in print FitzGerald said little about his 'everlasting Crabbe', and the Victorian judgment is fairly represented by Leslie Stephen's somewhat patronising account of a narrator of homespun griefs in homespun verse.

Twentieth-century criticism, from Paul Elmer More to Dr. Leavis and Mr. Forster, has been more discriminating than Stephen's, but not much more vocal. While Crabbe has by now received adequate treatment from the biographers (his son's Life pictures the man vividly, if not altogether accurately, and Huchon presents him exhaustively, though not vividly), he has had comparatively little critical attention. Francis Jeffrey . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.