1860 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges

W. C. Russell, in Book of Authors (1860) 57n.



No man was more laughed at in his own day than Sir Egerton Brydges; no man deserves kinder treatment at the hands of posterity. His numerous works exhibit a wide extent of knowledge; his novels are constructed with great ingenuity, and written in a diction eminently beautiful and eloquent. His poetry is far from mediocre; but of his compositions undoubtedly the very best is his autobiography. His candour is inexpressibly charming. He writes with a freedom and power that often raise his language to the level of De Quincey's noblest passages. Though disappointed in his ambition he is utterly destitute of prejudice and envy. He asserts the merits of a writer with the exultation of a man who has a personal and vital interest in the success of what he praises. He must be allowed a conspicuous place in that confederation of genius and talent which liberated English letters from the dismal thralldom of the eighteenth century.