1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

William Blackwood to William Maginn, 26 February 1821; Margaret Oliphant, William Blackwood and his Sons (1897) 1:379.



EDIN., 26th Feb. 1821.

I am not at all afraid of Tom Campbell and Master Colburn. Campbell is certainly a man of genius, and besides being a poet is an elegant prose writer. He is, however, indolent and uncertain. The two numbers [of the New Monthly Magazine] that have appeared do not strike me as very wonderful: they are respectable certainly, but not overwhelming. I am much mistaken if some of our poetical critiques, and articles on the Ancient English Drama, do not show a deeper feeling of the beauties and the true spirit of poetry than even Campbell's lectures, upon which the character of "Colburn's Magazine" so much depends. Campbell's name will do a great deal in getting clever men to write for it.