Louise Imogen Guiney: Her Life and Works, 1861-1920

Louise Imogen Guiney: Her Life and Works, 1861-1920

Louise Imogen Guiney: Her Life and Works, 1861-1920

Louise Imogen Guiney: Her Life and Works, 1861-1920

Excerpt

"In the Royal Galley of Divine Love there is no galley- slave: all the rowers are volunteers." This saying of Saint Francis de Sales, quoted by Louise Imogen Guiney, is significant of the gallant spirit, the steady devotion to high impersonal aims, which, combined with generous sympathies and spontaneous brilliance of expression, gave to her life and works a charm, an inspiration, a unity in diversity, difficult to sum up in an epigram, but vividly felt by all who came in contact with her.

Often the lives of authors make gloomy reading, and sometimes an author when encountered in the flesh is less attractive than the creations of his muse. But admirers of Louise Guiney's poetry and essays who knew her first through her published utterances, and afterwards won her friendship, would agree that her literary ideals and personal characteristics were admirably in accord. She did not conserve her most illuminating criticisms, her poetic imaginings, her frequent flashes of wit, to hoard them for print: her letters to her friends, even her most casual notes, all bear the stamp of a mind in which sincerity and graciousness, fastidiousness of taste and ardent enthusiasm, keen artistic sensibilities and pungent gaiety were irradiated by the steady light of a spirit uncompromisingly opposed to the superficial, half-hearted, or mercenary and self-seeking elements in life and letters.

Seldom has any author been more conspicuously free from vanity. Those who were privileged best to know her loved her for her blending of humility with robust moral courage . . .

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