1955 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Chute

R. W. Ketton-Cremer, in Thomas Gray (1955) 43.



Chute was a curious figure — a Hampshire country gentleman who had spent much of his life wandering about Europe, a man of taste and learning, a skilful amateur architect, nervous, short-sighted, tormented with gout, affected and extravagant in manner. To casual observers he seemed the most tiresome kind of inglese italianato, and Mann once described in a letter to Walpole how a dinner-party of ordinary English travellers "disliked his fan extremely." But under all this nonsense lay a hard core of courage, ability and common sense; and although he only figured occasionally in Gray's later life, Walpole regarded him to the end of his days as his most reliable and trusted friend.