1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

Anonymous, in British Critic 30 (August 1807) 170.



Most sincerely do we lament the death of Mrs. Charlotte Smith. We acknowledged in her a genuine child of genius, a most vivid fancy, refined taste, and extraordinary sensibility. We could not, indeed, always accord with her in sentiment. With respect to some subjects beyond her line of experience, reading, and indeed talent, she was unfortunately wayward and preposterous; but her poetic feeling and ability have rarely been surpassed by any individual of her sex. Her sonnets in particular will remain models of that species of composition; and, as Johnson remarked on Gray's Elegy in a Country Church-yard, had she always written thus, it were vain to blame and useless to praise her.