1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Abraham Heraud

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 519.



An English poet and miscellaneous writer (born 1799), Heraud has been a diligent, if not a successful, cultivator of the poetic art. He as written tragedies, lyrics, and narrative poems: The Legend of the St. Loy (1821); the Descent into Hell, and other Poems (1830); Judgment of the Flood: a Poem (1834); The War of Ideas (1871). It was his fortune to be snubbed by the critics, and not always unjustly. On his asking Douglas Jerrold whether he had ever seen his Descent into Hell, the reply was, "No, but I would like to see it." Heraud was a man of genius, though his writings show much misplaced power and abortive striving. chambers says of him, that "he was in poetry what Martin was in art, a worshipper of the vast, the remote, and the terrible." His Descent, and Judgment are chiefly remarkable as psychological curiosities.