1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

A., "On Miss Landon's Poetry" Living Poets of England: Specimens of the Living British Poets (1827) 2:496-97.



This new sister to the British Nine is yet in her teens, and has already published three volumes of poetry, besides Miscellanies in various Reviews and poetical albums. We are glad we want materials to write her biography. Miss Landon is unknown yet in the blue stocking Clubs of London. There is nothing in her of the Italian improvisatrice but the vivid and heart-stirring inspiration. Miss Landon is, to use a modern phrase, an Amorist in poetry, and a rival to Tom Moore himself, in that respect. Some English papers have perhaps over-puffed her lyrical strains, while others have used her rather unkindly: the French Globe has favoured its readers with two clever articles, at once courteous and impartial on the subject of Miss Landon's poems, and since she has been quoted in France by a sister Muse

—Whose evert song and tale....
Seem echoes of the heart.
(Miss LANDON'S Legend of the Rhine.)

Inferior to her, in real and true warmth and tenderness of delicate feeling, miss Landon has a good command of language, and a fair store of poetical ideas, with a great deal of taste in arrangement, and an ear tuned to the varied melodies of the language. She would do much better, if she did not write after so many different models, and in so many distinct keys. The principal poem of Miss Landon's, is entitled — the Improvisatrice. The idea is pretty; a young lady of great poetical powers falls in love, unhappily, as usual, and her adventures afford a thread on which to hang little poems of her composition. The opening is a very melodious piece of versification, and some of the stories introduced are highly poetical — particularly the Moorish Romance, which is a counter-part to Byron's Bride of Abydos.

There is now in England a whole sisterhood of female writers, but they are very unlike the Muses of the Della-Cruscan school: Miss Joanna Baillie, Miss Helen Williams, Charlotte Smith had never absurd pretensions to the Italianism and caricatured refinement of Gifford's Heroines: and the public taste has been awakened to the tones of nature by their younger sisters, Mistress Hemans, Miss Mitford, and L. E. Landon.