Algernon Swinburne: The Critical Heritage

By Clyde K. Hyder | Go to book overview

ATALANTA IN CALYDON

1865


4.

Unsigned Review, Saturday Review

6 May 1865, xix, 540-2

Most reviewers of Atalanta concerned themselves with the extent to which the play was Greek in style and ideas. The Saturday Review, which like other periodicals praised Swinburne’s command of language and rhythm, did not recognize his ‘anti-theism’ as clearly as did Richard Monckton Milnes, writing anonymously in the Edinburgh Review, though after the scandal of Poems and Ballads this aspect of the play received more attention.

Any one who had tried, whether by way of a school or college exercise or for his own pleasure, to compose a poem or an essay in one of the classical languages, must remember how forcibly he was led, in such an attempt, to realize the unspeakable differences in thought and feeling which separate the ancient world from ourselves. In reading a Greek poet or philosopher, we surrender ourselves for the time being to his influence, appear to breathe the same atmosphere, and to see things in the colours which they wore to his eyes. But the moment we cease to be passive, and endeavour either to imagine what a Greek would have said on a given subject, or, taking our own thoughts upon it, to throw them into the form which they would have assumed under his hands, we feel that it is not merely in form, nor even in our actual notions and beliefs, that we are unlike him, but rather in the habit and method of our minds. And if the thoughts we ascribe to him are, in truth, not modern, they are artificial, and all but meaningless to us. If they are modern and genuine, the ancient dress with which we would clothe

-9-

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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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