1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gibson Lockhart

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 453.



Lockhart (1794-1854), the son of a Glasgow minister, and the son-in-law and biographer of Sir Walter Scott, was born in the county of Lanark, Scotland, and was educated at Glasgow and Oxford. After a brief trial of the law, he devoted himself to literary pursuits; wrote Valerius, Reginald Dalton, Adam Blair, and other novels; also, some very spirited versions of Spanish ballads. He, moreover, contributed to Blackwood's Magazine, and edited the Quarterly Review from 1826 to 1853. Ill health and private calamities and bereavements darkened his latter days. His Life of Scott is one of the most interesting biographies in the language, hardly surpassed by Boswell's Life of Johnson. As a poet, he was versatile, and might have excelled had he made poetry his exclusive field. His Captain Paton's Lament, published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1819, is an admirable specimen of the humorous in elegy.