Note on Sources

The well from which every critic of Patmore has to draw is Basil Champneys' Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore (two volumes, Bell, 1900). This was limited by the conventions of the time and the reticence of the third Mrs. Patmore, but as a friend who had enjoyed Patmore's frankness Champneys grasped some nettles, such as Patmore's anti-clericalism, more firmly than is usual with official biographers.

But even Champneys needs supplementing by Mr. Derek Patmore's Life and Times of Coventry Patmore ( Constable, 1949), a study so complete and so recent that it would be impertinent to add more, had not the author expressly stated that it was not his aim to deal with Coventry Patmore's work. Mr. Derek Patmore's work is particularly valuable because of his access to family papers and his treatment of Alice Meynell and the third Mrs. Patmore, about whom he was able to say more than was possible in 1900.

On Patmore's work and temperament Edmund Gosse, in. his Coventry Patmore ( Hodder and Stoughton, 1905), is admirably balanced between the cordiality of a friend and the detachment of a critic.

The best treatment of Patmore's views is provided by Osbert Burdett The Idea of Coventry Patmore ( Oxford University Press, 1921), unique in that nearly half of the book is devoted to The Angel in the House. Burdett was

-207-

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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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