1837 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Edward Smedley

Anonymous, in "Memoir" Poems of the late Rev. Edward Smedley (1837) 58-59.



In 1831 he projected a castigated edition of The Faery Queen, to which a short life of the author was to be prefixed. He was surprised to find how many passages there were in this, the most favourite poem of his youth, which a father's acuter vision and more sensitive delicacy discovered to be unfit for the eyes of his daughters; he thought, too, that some of the words might be modernised to advantage; and that "if we were to print Shakspeare, or even Milton, literatim, from the first edition, the spelling would deter many readers." When, however, he had brought his task to a conclusion, Mr. Murray altered his opinion as to the expediency of the publication; and Mr. Smedley found, to his annoyance, that his time had been employed to no purpose.