1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Horace Walpole

Lord Byron, Preface to Marino Faliero (1821); Poetical Works, ed. E. H. Coleridge (1898-1901) 4:339.



It is the fashion to underrate Horace Walpole; firstly, because he was a gentleman; but to say nothing of the composition of his incomparable letters, and of the Castle of Otranto, he is the "Ultimus Romanorum," the author of the Mysterious Mother, a tragedy of the highest order, and not a puling love-play. He is the father of the first romance, and of the last tragedy in our language, and surely worthy of a higher place than any living writer, be he who he may.