1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Horace Walpole

William Shenstone, 1769; Works (1773) 3:381-82.



Mr. Walpole is a lively and ingenious writer; not always very accurate in his determinations, and much less so in his language; too often led away by a desire of rooting prejudice, and destroying giants: and yet there is no province wherein he appears to more advantage, in general, than in throwing new light upon characters in British history. I wish he would compose a regular work, making this his principal point. He has with great labour, in his Book of Painters, recorded matters of little importance, relative to people that were of less. I have a right to be severe, for his volumes cost me above thirty shillings: yet where he drops the antiquarian in them, his remarks are striking, and worth perusal.