Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage

By Michael Thorpe | Go to book overview

Miller’s Bath-Easton vase, or Rugantino,1 who out-Corsaired the Corsair.


30.

David Masson in Macmillan’s Magazine

August 1862, vi, 318-31

Masson (1822-1907) edited Macmillan’s Magazine from its inception in 1859 to 1867. He was a Professor at University College, London (succeeding Clough), and later at Edinburgh. He was the author, in a North British Review article entitled ‘Theories of Poetry and a New Poet’ (1853), of the view Arnold attacks in his 1853 Preface, that ‘a true allegory of the state of one’s mind… is perhaps the highest thing that one can attempt in the way of fictitious art’ (which includes, for Masson, poetry).

A man of very shy demeanour, of largish build about the head and shoulders, with a bland and rather indolent look, and a noticeable want of alertness in his movements—such, to a stranger meeting him casually, appeared that Arthur Hugh Clough, of whom, till his death the other day at the age of forty-two, all those who knew him intimately were wont to speak in terms of such unusually high regard. Many persons to whom the name of Clough was only beginning to be adequately known when a premature death removed him will now take up with interest the beautiful little volume in which his Poems are first collected, and in which they are introduced by a brief Memoir from the pen of his friend, Mr. F. T. Palgrave.

A collected volume of Poems may either be read with a view to enjoying and appreciating them individually on their own account, without much reference to their connexion with the mind that produced them; or it may be read throughout with a special attention to that connexion, and with a desire to detect, underneath each, that

1 Reference untraced.

-139-

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