1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Grant

George Ticknor to Elisha Ticknor, March 1819; Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor (1876) 1:278.



I went quite as often to Mrs. Grant's, where an American, I imagine, finds himself at home more easily than anywhere else in Edinburgh. She is an old lady of such great good-nature and such strong good-sense, mingled a natural talent, plain knowledge, and good taste, derived from English reading alone, that when she chooses to be pleasant she can be so to a high degree. Age and sorrow have fallen pretty heavily upon her. She is about seventy, and has lost several of her children, but still she is interested in what is going forward in the world, tells a great number of amusing stories about the past generation, and gives striking sketches of Highland manners and feelings, of which she is herself an interesting representative.... Not a great deal of society came to her house, and what there was did not much interest me. I met there Owen of Lanark, who talked me out of all patience with his localities and universalities; Wilson, of "The Isle of Palms," a pretending young man, but with a great deal of talent; Hogg, the poet, vulgar as his name, and a perpetual contradiction, in his conversation, to the exquisite delicacy of his Kilmeney....