1862 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Cunningham

Thomas Arnold, in A Manual of English Literature (1862; 1885) 454-55.



Allan Cunningham, a native of Dumfriesshire, began life as a stonemason's apprentice. His literary aspirations were, however, too strong to be suppressed, and at the age of twenty-six he went to London, where he connected himself with the newspaper press. His first poems appeared in Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, for which work he was employed to collect ballads. Nearly all the poems in this collection, though purporting to be originals, were Cunningham's own composition. His writings, as a rule, are, too full of mannerisms; and it is only through his songs, many of which are simple and graceful that his name still lives. He wrote, Songs of Scotland (1825) and Lives of Eminent British Painter, Sculptors, and Architects. A complete edition of his poems was published after his death by his son.