1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Alfred Davenport

A. G. L'Estrange, in Friendships of Mary Russell Mitford (1882) 39-40.



The Mr. Davenport who indited the letters next in order was a prolific author, wrote a continuation of Mitford's History of Greece, a History of Biography, and other works. He was also the editor of an intermittent periodical called The Poetical Register. Dr. Mitford generally carried about in his pocket a bundle of his daughter's poems for the benefit of friends or chance acquaintances, and certainly took every opportunity of producing them, though her statement that his "charming manner" was their principle recommendation must have been a fond delusion. In this way, Mr. Davenport became acquainted with Miss Mitford's poetical talent, and he determined to make use of it to brighten the pages of his Register, which, although supported by such names as Scott, Moore, and Milman, was somewhat insipid and uninteresting. It was tinged with classical pedantry, and abounded with lackadaisical sonnets, in which mournful swains apostrophized their mistresses under such titles as Chloe and Myra; but it was not unfavorably received in its day.