1889 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Howitt

Mary Howitt, in An Autobiography (1889) 1:181.



This younger brother of my husband was my contemporary, and at the time of which I am writing [1823], our fellow-inmate. He possessed a most poetical, sensitive mind, was caustic, humorous, a quiet punster, deeply versed in Nature, and sympathising in all noble movements and vital human interests. Although thoroughly awake in congenial society, he would lose himself in some poetical dream when uninterested in his companions. This reminds me that once a very ordinary individual walked with Richard from Nottingham to Heanor, and asked him suddenly, "What bird that was?" No reply was vouchsafed for the distance of several miles, then without uttering another word, the wished-for information was given. He was well versed in literature, and was fond of old fashioned poetry, but it must be choicely good.