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Swinburne, Algernon Charles (1837-1909) poet and literary reviewer
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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

Undertakes to mention Myers' wishes in relation to the Moral Sciences Examination. Does not know 'who the other two [examiners] will be.' States that Mayor has been applied to. Is torn between 'a desire to get a good man and to do honour to the Tripos by getting a M. Sc. firstclass-man.' Says he 'quite accept[s Myer's] epithets for [D. G.] Rossetti's sonnets' which pleased him 'critically and classificatorily' since he discovered in Rossetti 'the "missing link" between Swinburne and Christina Rossetti'. Wishes Rossetti would write more.

Discusses Mozley's article on Modern poets in the Quarterly [Review], and claims that he is the first man 'who has spoken adequately of Clough.' Reports that there is a new edition of Clough in the press. States that he has not seen [Roden] Noel since he reviewed him. Remarks that 'that review has turned out unfortunate', and that '[R. H.?] Hutton likes the poems and therefore would have reviewed them...with his goldest pen.' Claims that he could not have said anything stronger in [Noel's] favour, and does not agree with Myers about the book. Declares that Markby 'is a little over enthusiastic about female prospects' and believes himself that 'the question is in a hopeful state.' Claims that 'there is no real conservatism anywhere among educated men.' Adds his opinion in relation to the use of 'esquire'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

Asks for information concerning Myers' coming to Cambridge, 'The Prospects of Poetry' and 'The Probabilities of Medicine etc etc'. Declares that they have much to discuss, Sidgwick having failed to write due to the unrealised expectation of seeing Myers at Rugby. Reports that he has to teach history that term, 'no successor having turned up to Pearson: and Cambridge breeding no historian'; they are 'thinking of taking some healthy young resident and locking him up with a Hume'; it is 'rather a disgrace to us that we all take so small an interest in the human race'.

Asks if he has seen Noel 'in the Dark Blue [a literary journal]'. Suggests that he may have been ashamed to send it to Myers, as 'some of the polemic is almost personal'. Declares that it is very well written, 'except the polemical part', and states that he writes better prose than verse. Reports that Noel nearly quarrelled with him 'for reluctantly avowing that [he] did not consider him an equal of Swinburne.' States that Noel 'thinks that the Verbal School (S[winburne?] Rossetti, etc - non sine te) have been found out'. Refers to the Edinburgh of July, and the Contemporary [Review] of October as having evidence to support this theory. States that Noel also thinks that 'Buchanan and R.N are going to be chaired instead by a mutable but at length appreciative public.' Refers to 'a certain Mutual Admiration league' between Noel and Symonds. Believes that Symonds's poetry could be successful, 'if he could only impassion himself about a good subject.'

Asks Myers to send his last epic. Tells him to read Noel's article. Sends his regards to Myers' mother. Announces that his second correspondence circular is soon to appear. Reports that Miss Clough is in Cambridge, that the house is 'getting on', and that there will be five [women] there that term.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

Announces that Stirling is not to stand [for the post of Knightsbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy], and that therefore he shall; predicts that if either Venn or Pearson are elected, his days in Cambridge 'will be brief', if he can believe 'sufficiently' in himself or his work - 'Otherwise Cambridge is a comfortable hospital for maimed intellects and carrières manquées'.

Tells Myers to write and give him 'the next chapter of the romance.' [Note in Myers' hand suggests that this could be a reference to The Fair Tasmanian ]. Reports that '[p]oor Jebb is in influenza in Ireland.' Reports that Miss Thackeray was very hospitable to them at Freshwater, and describes how she acted in her role as hostess. Adds that 'as the immortal Swinburne said to [him], a man's Best is his real Self and it is only a Philistine who judges him by anything else'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Perfect recent weather; has done 'a fair lot of work' and thinks he is 'well started' on his new play about 'a man who comes back from the Crusades and finds his enemy in occupation of his castle'. [C.P] Scott, editor of the "Manchester Guardian", has asked him to send an account of the landslip disaster [at the Cappuccini hotel]; if Scott prints his letter he will show it her, as his 'first and perhaps... last attempt at journalism'. The accounts of the landslip in the papers are 'greatly exaggerated'; Bessie need not worry about him. Once read a review of [Kenneth Grahame's] "The Golden Age" by Swinburne, 'with more than his usual extravagance of praise'; was rather disappointed when he read some of it soon after. Fry's sister Isabel has written 'a somewhat similar book, but with no pretentions', which he thinks is worth 'twenty golden ages'; it is called "Unitiated" and he will get it for Bessie to read; Isabel Fry is very nice, and a little like Bessie in temperament. Will lend her [Stephen Philips'] "Paolo and Francesca"; does not think much of it. Is too lazy to copy out verses, as he promised. Agrees that it is wonderful to think of going out for dinner together; not that either of them do that much, but in moderation it is very good, and he has never dined out enough for the 'novelty of it to be spoilt' as it is for her uncle. Teases her about her dreams. Is sure with her uncle and Lord Reay's advice they will be able to arrange their marriage properly; they should have as few formalities as possible, and avoid being married again in England if they can; would like the date to be as soon as possible, in June, but she should decide. Notes that this is the last letter he will send dated 1899, and '1900 will look awfully odd'.

Very interested by her description of her childhood; Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht] is certainly ' not the sort of person to have understood [Bessie] at all'; he had something of the same difficulty with Charles, who however tried to be sympathetic and a good brother to him; Charles 'had a sterner and more orderly temperament' and Bob 'the more haphazard one'. George is 'a sort of cross' between the two, but with much more intellect than Charles. Encloses a letter from Mrs Cacciola [Florence Trevelyan]; knew she had taken a fancy to Bessie; 'her staccato style is admirably expressive. She does it in conversation often'. Had said in his letter that his parents might visit Sicily next winter and she might possibly see him with them and Bessie next year. Has nearly finished reading [Shorthouse's] "John Inglesant"; thinks it 'a most remarkable novel' though it does drag in places. Calls the muses her 'real rivals, my dear nine mistresses'.

Letter from Walter Leaf to Nora Sidgwick

Writes to express his sympathy with Nora on the death of Henry Sidgwick. Refers to the depth of their grief 'at the loss of so dear a friend and so true a leader.' Relates that he saw Henry only six weeks previously at the Athenaeum 'and rejoiced to think that he was given back to his friends for a while at least...' Remarks on the suddenness of Henry Sidgwick's demise, which, he claims, 'has brought back the first shock of the end of May.' Predicts that the time will come when they will feel that it was better that way. Explains that he has been watching for nearly two years the advance of the disease in his own mother, and can understand 'how the terrible mental suffering which goes with it outweighs the physical.' Claims that the last of many lessons he learned from Henry, 'the most beautiful and the most unforgettable, was at the lunch at Leckhampton on May 27', when he taught him 'how calmly and manfully death and suffering could be faced, as he recited without a break in his voice the lines... from [Swinburne's] Super [Flumina] Babylonis; ending "Where the light of the life of him is on all past things, Death only dies"'. Hopes that when the time comes, the sound of Henry's' voice and the light on his face will be before him.

Leaf, Walter (1852-1927) classicist and banker

Letter from Robert Oswald Sickert to R. C. Trevelyan

12 Pembroke Gardens, Kensington. - He and Stanley [Makower] agree that Trevelyan's 'little beast' [his poem"The Lady's Bat] should appear in their anthology ["The Bird In Song", see 6/47]; they have nothing else giving 'just that note of playfulness'. They will send him a proof to correct. Expects the book will be out before Easter. Will write to Brimley Johnson, whom he does not know personally. Thinks they have fixed on an engraving [for the frontispiece?]: "A Concert of Birds, after Mario di Fiori' which Sickert found in the Print Room [of the British Museum] and includes a bat. They hope to include Swinburne's "Itylus", but [Theodore Watts-] Dunton wants to know what else will appear, so has had to send a list. Still wondering what to call the series. Stanley has a daughter; 'girls have the best time nowadays'.

Letter from Robert Oswald Sickert to R. C. Trevelyan

12 Pembroke Gardens, Kensington, W. - Trevelyan's corrected copy [of his poem The Lady's Bat, for Sickert's anthology The Bird In Song, see 6/47] arrived in good time, and the book is to go to the printers next Thursday. Is annoyed about the 'shabby' nature of the printing, and that they have had to include 'a wearisome effusion of Watts-Dunton's' in order to be allowed Swinburne's Itylus; would like to 'stick' it in the preface and claim there was not time to put it in properly, with the added advantage of putting people off reading the preface. Is also unhappy about the frontispiece. Thinks the book will be out about Easter, not much before due to the addition of American classics such as Whitman - 'no moderns thank goodness'. Recommends Jean Christophe by Romain Rolland, brother-in-law of [Michel] Bréal. He and his 'collaborator' [Stanley Makower] will be pleased to present Trevelyan with a copy of the anthology.

Cutting from the "Times Literary Supplement" containing an article headed "Swinburne Letters"

Reproduces two letters from Swinburne to Edmund Clarence Stedman, now in the possession of Stedman's granddaughter Laura, dated 20-21 Feb 1875 and 8 Sept 1875; these appear under the heading of 'American Poets: Parentage: Autobiography' and '"American Poets: Greek and Hebrew' respectively. Permission of Theodore Watts-Dunton, Swinburne's literary executor, required for the publication of any of Swinburne's letters.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - The notes on the enclosure he returns interest him very much; is not surprised by the feeling about Swinburne they indicate; any man, even if Swinburne is not 'his' poet, as Browning is Sir George's, or Shelley Harry Knutsford's, must acknowledge him as a 'marvellous and genuine phenomenon'. Has sent a short letter with his own recollections of Swinburne to [Edmund] Gosse, to go into the "life"; Gosse much appreciates the early letters Sir George gave him; the things Sir George did not give to Gosse, he did not show him either. Looking forward very much to Robert's visit; glad they are settled with Miss Barthorp [as governess to Julian]. Has recently read "Humphry Clinker", which he thinks [Smollett's] 'most readable, and least unpleasant, book'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Has ordered the fifty pounds to be paid into Robert's account with Drummonds'. Started Robert's "Annual of [New] Poetry" last night, which is a 'beautiful publication'; praises him for publishing, as he has 'no patience for the fastidiousness which refuses to publish because the world has so much to occupy its attentions'; has been waiting for three years for the publication of the life of Sir Charles Dilke. Will send back the [Samuel] Butler books; was very glad to see them, though they are not as good as Butler's "Notes", "Alps and Sanctuaries, and "The Way of All Flesh". [Edmund] Gosse has sent him his life of Swinburne, which looks very good; he and Caroline will read it aloud. Very glad that his 'tribute to dear Paulina Trevelyan comes out as it does'; it is a 'work of gratitude' that has been on his mind, and is 'better than a long biography'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Good to read about Julian's 'encounter with country things' [see 46/230]. The people around Stratford who 'profess to be weather-wise', and perhaps are so, say that after a long winter like this, Spring will come very quickly and be 'fruitful'; true that he has never admired the daffodils so much. Caroline was saying she 'always has the cadence of the Bruce-Logan cuckoo [a poem attributed to both John Logan and Michael Bruce] in her ears; [John?] Bright always recited it to them at 'his annual dinner - no other guest, and a fruit table, by special request - at 30 Ennismore Gardens'. They have finished reading "The Grasshoppers" [by Cecily Sidgwick] which is am 'admirable novel', and are about to begin Gosse's "Life" of Swinburne. Interested to hear Elizabeth's opinion of [Walter Scott's] "Guy Mannering" and 'Hatteraick's language' [in that novel]; expects it was 'good enough for Scott's readers', and it is 'as like Dutch' as the 'serious conversation in "Old Mortality"' which Sir George has been reading to Mary Caroline was to 'the language which Morton and Edith must have talked'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - No bluebells yet, but they have a 'beautiful up-spring of cuckoo-flowers' in the long grass with the last of the cowslips. There is no-one to get rid of the dandelions, and he is 'becoming reconciled to them'. Glad to hear of the success of the "Annual [of New Poetry]"; recognises that it is 'a very good show'. Robert will certainly be interested in Gosse's book [his "Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne"], which is 'put together with rare skill, and self-restraint'; a good question whether Gosse is 'explicit enough about the life which the wretched creature led' but it is possible to 'read between the lines'. Sends love to 'all at the Park, hostess [Annie Philips] and guests'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Good to hear about Arnside [where Bessie and Julian are staying]; supposes Robert is only about a nine mile walk from them. Will be going to the Park [Annie Philips' house] soon. Agrees with Robert's analysis of what is 'hopelessly arid' in Swinburne's poetry; for Sir George, 'nothing... is more barren and devoid of real knowledge' than Swinburne's political poems, which suffer in comparison with [Browning's] "Old Pictures at Florence' or "De Gustibus", or the conversation between Luigi and his mother in "Pippa Passes". Criticises Swinburne's 'gross and violent ignorance' of the 'singular, many-sided, visionary Louis Napoleon'. Continues to criticise Swinburne on Louis Napoleon in a postscript, written on the back of an printed invitation card for a dinner of "The Club" at the Princes Hotel on 8 May 1917, which Earl Curzon will chair.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Garden Corner, West Road, Cambridge. - Thanks Bob for the references; has altered the sentence [in his "English Revolution"?]. Sure he will 'run down the A.S. [Algernon Swinburne?] poem'. Glad that C.A [Clifford Allen] hopes to leave [for Switzerland?] on 1 Dec. Thanks Bob for Allen's letter: agrees with it all, but 'alas we are further off than ever from the prospect of a colonial settlement with Germany'.

Copy letter from Algernon Charles Swinburne to Pauline, Lady Trevelyan, 15 Mar 1865

36 Wilton Crescent, S.W. (on Wallington headed paper). - Is pleased that Lady Trevelyan likes his book ["Atalanta in Calydon"]; it was finished just after Landor's death which he much regrets. Much enjoyed the composition of the poem, which 'was very rapid and pleasant'; thinks it is 'pure Greek, and the first poem of the sort in modern times': feels that Shelley's "Prometheus [Unbound]", though 'magnificent', is 'un-Hellenic', and gathers from Lewes's life of Goethe that his "Iphigenia in Tauris" is also 'impregnated with modern morals and feeling"; also dismisses [Matthew] Arnold's "Merope". Is 'raging in silence' about the delayed publication of [Thomas] Carlyle's volumes: the subject [Frederick the Great] 'was always a hero' of Swinburne's who is impressed by his 'clear cold purity of pluck', which is not inspired by faith. Frederick seems free of 'perverse Puritan Christianity' on the one hand, and 'the knaveries and cutpurse rascalities' of the Buonapartes on the other; Swinburne can almost forgive him his bad poetry. Is very glad to hear good news of Sir Walter and the building projects; wishes she were in London for [Ford] Madox Brown's exhibition, which is 'superb'. Is currently staying at the house his father has taken in London for the winter, and is looking for rooms for himself; his father has completed the purchase of Holm Wood [Holmwood] in Oxfordshire. Feels that Tennyson should have made a better choice of his "Selections": feels that "Boadicea" should have 'served as prelude to the book'; thought Tennyson's 'volume of last summer' ["Enoch Arden"] a 'new triumph'.

Copy of part of letter from Algernon Charles Swinburne to Pauline, Lady Trevelyan, 10 Dec 1865

22a Dorset (corrected from Dover and 'Dovet?') Street, W. (on Wallington headed paper). - Thanks Lady and Sir Walter Trevelyan for their great kindness and defence of him against the 'villainy of fools and knaves'; this falls upon others as undeserving as himself, and he recently defended a mutual friend against the charge of having 'boasted aloud of murdering his own illegitimate children' - who did not exist.