1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Lovell

Richard Alfred Davenport, in Chiswick British Poets (1822) 73:199.



Of ROBERT LOVELL I can tell the public but little that will satisfy curiosity. He was, I believe, a native of Bristol, and completed his education at Baliol College, Oxford. While he was at that College, he published, in 1795, in conjunction with his intimate friend and fellow collegian, Mr. Southey, a volume of poems. His pieces were designated by the signature of Moschus; those of Mr. Southey by that of Bion. He married a lady, whose two sisters were united to Mr. Southey and Mr. Coleridge. Lovell was also one of the individuals who joined with those gentlemen, in planning the strange scheme of emigrating to America, for the purpose of forming a community, the members of which should possess all things in common. To this novel system they gave the name of Pantisocracy, and to themselves that of Pantisocrats. They made, however, no attempt, or none that I know of, to carry their project into execution. Lovell died at an early age; some time between the year 1796 and 1800.

It is unnecessary to criticise minutely the poems of Lovell. They are not finished compositions; but they, nevertheless, prove that he had a really poetical mind. The satire on Bristol, which is his longest effort, has many pointed lines, though it is not equal to Savage's fragment on the same subject.