1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Hunter

Francis Jeffrey, in Review of Hunter, Poems; Edinburgh Review 1 (January 1803) 426.



On the whole, we are of the opinion that this volume will scarcely carry down the name of its author to a very distant generation. The greater part of the pieces it contains may be said to be very decently written: but they are extremely deficient in fire and animation; and are neither calculated to move by their pathos, nor to enchant by their beauty. Mrs. Hunter appears, from her book, to be a very amiable and accomplished woman: but poetry really does not seem to be her vocation; and rather appears to have been studied as an accomplishment, than pursued from any natural propensity. Her verses are such as we might expect from half of our well-educated ladies, if poetry were to be taught, like music or painting, in the ordinary course of female instruction, and odes and elegies exacted at the boarding school with as much rigour as concertos and pieces in crayons.