1854 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Howitt

Robert Shelton Mackenzie, Note in Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 4:315n.



William and Mary Howitt (man and wife) published their first work in 1823. It was called The Forest Minstrel, and bore their joint names on the title-page. The Book of the Seasons was principally written by William Howitt, and it is a singular circumstance, that it was offered to six of the leading publishers of London, and by them refused. Mr. Howitt was so disgusted with them and it, that he desperately told the person in whose hands it was, to tie a stone to the manuscript, throw it over London Bridge, and let him hear of it no more. At last, Colburn & Bentley (then in partnership) brought it out, in 1831, and it has been a great hit, having run through seven editions, some of them very large. The Howitts have contributed largely and successfully, in prose and verse, to English literature, and have been very busy as translators from the German and Danish. Their eldest daughter is an artist and author of much promise. Richard Howitt has written some poems — chiefly sonnets. Dr. Howitt, a good botanist, practices as a physician in Nottingham.