1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Leadbeater

Anonymous, in Review of Leadbeater, Poems; Anti-Jacobin Review 33 (May 1809) 89.



That which ought to have been a passport to fame, has, in the present instance, been a stumbling block to ill-nature; we mean the late Mr. Burke's approbation of Mrs. Leadbeater's poems. The author, who is the grand-daughter of his preceptor, and the daughter of his early friend, with whom he communicated to the last, was long honoured by the correspondence of that extraordinary man, and now publishes, in a correct and uniform manner, those poetical effusions which, in her juvenile days, were occasionally submitted to his perusal and correction. The witlings, who think that they display their own greatness by censuring what they do not comprehend, or cannot equal, have eagerly availed themselves of this occasion to denigrate the memory of Burke, by depreciating the talents of a woman whom he had patronized. More than one critic has manifested this spirit, which would be contemptible for its silliness, were it less odious by its malignity. One extract from these poems, will satisfy the reader that Mrs. Leadbeater must enjoy a respectable rank among the poets of her sex.