IX
The Patriarch

Patmore's life in Sussex at Heron's Ghyll from 1868 to 1874, and later at Hastings from 1875 to 1891, before he passed to his final backwater in Lymington, where he lies buried, was one of meditation on the great love of his life, on the nature of love itself, and on its transformation into the divine. But there was also an outward life, such as all men have forced on them or invent for themselves, either to satisfy conventions they respect or to fulfil some secondary need of their natures.

Yet with Patmore this outward life was more closely related to his real inner life than with most men, for it was based on his children, the children of his dead wife. The two eldest, both boys, Milnes and Tennyson, were grown up, out in the world, and there was little contact with Milnes, except in such paternal acts as finding the money to buy him a ship of his own. But the other four were very much a part of the family, and of them the eldest, Emily Honoria -- so called after her mother and her mother's inspiration, the Honoria of The Angel -- and Henry, the youngest, were especially close to their father, not only in convictions and cast of mind, but also in love of poetry and appreciation of his.

Both moreover had an importance of their own. Henry had a small volume of verse published, and there are a few lines on him in the Dictionary of National Biography, though

-135-

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Coventry Patmore
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • I - Extravagant Contradictions 1
  • II - Father of the Man 10
  • III - Before the Angel 25
  • IV - Verse at Home 47
  • V - Love and Death 62
  • VI - Travel to Rome 80
  • VII - Second Spring 96
  • VIII - Lourdes and Virginity 122
  • IX - The Patriarch 135
  • X - The Anti-Clerical 151
  • XI - Root and Flower 172
  • XII - The Independent 198
  • Note on Sources 207
  • Index 209
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