Algernon Swinburne: The Critical Heritage

By Clyde K. Hyder | Go to book overview

27.

William Morton Payne: ‘Algernon Charles Swinburne’

1897

William Morton Payne (1858-1919) became associate editor of the Chicago Dial, a periodical to which he contributed some reviews of Swinburne’s books. In 1905 he published Selected Poems of Swinburne and in 1907 The Greater English Poets of the Nineteenth Century, in which the last chapter is devoted to the poet, and which once more emphasized the value of Swinburne’s later work.

Library of the World’s Best Literature, ed. Charles Dudley Warner.

Early in the eighties, there were living in England six great poets, whose work had given to the later Victorian era of English song a splendour almost comparable to that of the Elizabethan and later Georgian periods. All of these poets but one have now passed away (Rossetti in 1882, Arnold in 1888, Browning in 1889, Tennyson in 1892, and Morris in 1896), leaving Mr. Swinburne in solitary preeminence. In this year of the Queen’s Jubilee he is left with no possible rival among the living; and stands as the Victorian poet par excellence in a peculiarly literal sense, for he was born in the year of her Majesty’s accession to the throne, which makes his sixty years conterminous with the sixty years of her reign. So little has been made public concerning that life, that his personality has remained even more closely veiled than was that of Tennyson; and the facts at the command of the biographer are of the most meagre description. He was the son of a distinguished officer of the Royal Navy; and on his mother’s side, descended from the third Earl of Ashburnham. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, but left in 1860 without taking a degree. A journey to Italy followed; made chiefly for the purpose of paying a tribute of affectionate admiration to the old poet Landor, then nearing the close of his days in Florence. The greater part of Mr. Swinburne’s life has been

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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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