1853 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Margaret Holford

Frederic Rowton, in Female Poets of Great Britian (1853) 307, 310.



This lady is the author of Wallace, or the Flight of Falkirk; Margaret of Anjou; and some Miscellaneous Verses, which, I believe, have not yet appeared in a collected form. Her poetical writings display a strong, romantic, vigorous genius, lofty and daring in its flight, and essentially firm and healthy in its constitution. She presents a fine contrast to those gossamer Poetesses who have since appeared among us so frequently. Like Mrs. Baillie, she finds that simplicity is the truest strength: and she never exhibits the slightest leaning towards the rhapsodical, the sentimental, or the spasmodic. Clear in thought and intelligible in style, she is one of the most agreeable Poets we possess. Her narratives flow on as gracefully and smoothly as Scott's: she closely resembles that great writer, indeed, in many respects. Her stories are very skillfully conducted, and a strong chain of interest runs through them from the first page to the last. In her spirited descriptions of "broil and battle," few writers in our language surpass her: and one cannot but feel surprised that a lady of our peaceful age should be so thoroughly imbued with the martial spirit of our warlike ancestors. The fact proves not merely the strength of the human imagination, but also that the imagination is not sexual.

The reader will find ample specimens of Mrs. Hodson's poetical powers in the subjoined extracts [omitted].

Mrs. Hodson's chief work is doubtless the fine poem entitled Margaret of Anjou. The fate of this royal lady seems to have called forth the warm sympathy of her sex; for her career has met with many female historians. None, however, have traced her story so eloquently and graphically as Mrs. Hodson.