Item 100 - Letter from John Herschel

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Add. MS a/207/100


Letter from John Herschel


  • 12 Dec. 1861 (Creation)

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4 pp

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Collingwood - JH sends WW the beginning of his Hexameter translation of book one of the 'Iliad': 'So far as the question as to the nationalisation of the Hexameter goes I am not dissatisfied with it, as there seems to me to be no appearance of constraint, and no material violation of accent in reading the lines but it assuredly does read bald and homely'. However, Homer's diction is also homely and in comparison to Pope is also bald. The English blank verse comes with a class at the end, while the Hexameter makes up for its terminal weakness by its initial form: 'The one is epigrammatic, the other impulsive. The one belongs to a natural and somewhat artificial literature, the other to a nascent and majestic one'.

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