1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Wilkie

Charles Lamb to Mr. Manning, 23 August 1800; in Thomas Noon Talfourd, Literary Sketches and Letters ... of Charles Lamb (1849) 75.



The Doctor [James Anderson], in the course of the conversation, mentioned a poem called the Epigoniad by one Wilkie, and epic poem, in which there is not one tolerable line all through, but every incident and speech borrowed from Homer. George [Dyer] had been sitting inattentive, seemingly, to what was going on — hatching of negative quantities — when, suddenly, the name of his old friend, Homer, stung his pericranicks, and jumping up, he begged to know where he could meet with Wilkie's works. "It was a curious fact that there should be such an epic poem and he not know of it; and he must get a copy of it, as he was going to touch pretty deeply upon the subject of the Epic — and he was sure there must be some things good in a poem of 8000 lines!"