Punch, 30 July 1902, cxxiii, 60
‘An Imaginary Correspondence’ (quoted by special permission of Punch, owner of the copyright) satirized Swinburne’s preference for outspoken language as illustrated by his essay on Dickens. Here, as in ‘The Appreciations of Algernon’ in its following issue, Punch exaggerated obvious tricks of style.
AN IMAGINARY CORRESPONDENCE
(Which may be supposed to have passed between the Editor of the Quarterly Review and Mr. A. C. Swinburne when the proofs of the latter’s signed article on Charles Dickens were being revised for the press. )
DEAR SIR, —In going through the proofs of your valuable article on DICKENS I came across the expression ‘Blatant Booby’. As the application of this description to persons from whom one may differ in opinion is somewhat unusual in modern literary controversy, perhaps you might like to modify it?
DEAR SIR, —I utterly and entirely refuse and decline to make or accept any change or alteration whatsoever in the expression you mention. When I think a man a ‘booby’ I call him a ‘booby’.
A. C. SWINBURNE.
DEAR SIR, —In writing of Mr. ANDREW LANG’S prefaces to DICKENS I see you say, ‘The offence becomes an outrage, the impertinence becomes impudence, when such rubbish is shot down before the door-step of CHARLES DICKENS. ’ Is not this rather too strong a description?