1861 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Bodenham

Thomas Corser, in Collectanea Anglo-Poetica II (1861) 298, 302.



Among the numerous poetical miscellanies which began to appear about this period, and form a remarkable feature in the literary annals of the time, must be included in the present rare work [Bel-vedere, or the Garden of the Muses], compiled by John Bodenham, the editor also of Politeuphuia Wits Commonwealth, 1598, 8vo; Wits Theater of the little World, 1599, 8vo; and of Englands Helicon, 1600, 4to, noticed hereafter. Although Bodenham was thus a contributor to the preservation and diffusion of these flowers of our early poetry, and was so useful in his generation, little or nothing seems to be known of him beyond the evidence of his industry in the compilation of these works.... In comparing this poetical miscellany with others of a similar kind, the two great defects which are especially observable in the Garden of the Muses are the limitation of the extracts to a single couplet, and the want of identification of the passages, no authors names being given. This is a serious drawback to the enjoyment of the book, which on this account is inferior to the work of Allot, before noticed; and should Belvedere ever be reprinted it would be desirable to annex the author's name to each extract.

Thomas Corser, Collectanea Anglo-Poetica II (1861) 298, 302.