Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage

By Michael Thorpe | Go to book overview

50.

Coventry Patmore, ‘Arthur Hugh Clough’, a review in St. James’s Gazette

10 August 1888, 7

This review was reprinted in Principle of Art (London, 1889), 106-12.

Patmore (1823-96) was a poet influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites; his The Angel in the House, a long sentimental poem celebrating wedded love was issued in parts during the 1850s and became one of the most popular poems in Victorian England. He entered the Roman Catholic Church in 1862.

This is a review of two volumes published in 1888, Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough, New & Revised Edition (London: Macmillan) and Prose Remains of Arthur Hugh Clough, with a Selection from his Letters and a Memoir edited by his wife (London: Macmillan). The contents of these volumes were virtually identical with those of the similar publications of 1869, with these exceptions: the Rugby Magazine poem ‘Thoughts of Home’ (‘I watched them from the window’) has been dropped from the Poems and there is no memoir; the ‘Review of Mr. Newman’s The Soul’ has been left out of the Prose. This new version of the Poems was printed seven times, the last occasion being in 1909. After this date, there was no more comprehensive edition of the poems attempted until 1951.

Arthur Hugh Clough, though he cannot take rank high among artists, whether in prose or verse, who have acquired a classic position by the production of works which are the flowering in beauty and repose of a unique individuality, is not for a moment to be confused with the great crowd of writers who, however excellent they may have been in their lines, have never obtained a hearing through the noble and preponderating interest of personal character. Clough worshipped Truth with more than the passion of a lover, and his writings are, M

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