1850 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Alfred Davenport

John Britton, in Autobiography (1850) 1:75n.



Amongst the professional authors of my time, I cannot name one who has written more extensively, on a greater variety of subjects, or with more earnest and honest devotion to the integrity of his duties, than the gentleman here named. For Whittingham's edition of the British Poets, in 100 volumes, he wrote all the biographical and critical prefaces; and also edited the whole work. In Rivington's Annual Register, for the years 1792 to 1797, he wrote large portions of the history, biography, geography, and criticism. He is the author of A History of Greece, from the Death of Agesilaus to that of Alexander, in 3 vols.; A History of the Bastile, for the Family Library, 1 vol.; and a new edition of Guthrie's Geographical Grammar, published by Tegg, and printed in the smallest type. For the same publisher he wrote Lives of Individuals who raised themselves from Poverty to Fortune, 1 vol. 18mo. 1841; a Life of Ali Pasha; a Biographical Dictionary, 1 vol. 8vo.; and Narratives of Peril and Suffering, 2 vols. As editor of more than 100 volumes of miscellaneous works (among which is the Poetical Register, in 9 vols., containing contributions from eminent poets, and numerous pieces, original and translated, from his own pen) he has written innumerable articles on biography, poetry, criticism, and other subjects. Many translations of popular works are from his pen; and he has now two or three volumes of manuscripts prepared for the press. Yet this laborious, critical, and acute author is scarcely known to the public, nor even to the Literati of the present time. A devoted student and lover of books, he has lived in the midst of those fascinating companions, and has neglected an intimacy with the active world, which owes him much.