1862 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hookham Frere

Mary Russell Mitford, in Recollections of a Literary Life; or Books, Places, and People (1852) 474.



To attempt to tell the story of a poem which travels backwards and forward from knights to giants, and from giants to monks, no sooner interesting you in one set of personages than he casts them off to fly to other scenes and other actors, would be a fruitless task. Who would venture to trace the adventures of the Orlando Furioso? and Mr. Frere, in imitating the Morgante Maggiore, and other parodies of the great poet of romance, has won for himself the privilege of wandering a pleasure over the whole realm of chivalrous fable, and makes the best use of that privilege by being often picturesque, often amusing, and never wearisome.