1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

David Lester Richardson

Anonymous, in Review of Richardson, Sonnets and other Poems; Blackwood's Magazine 21 (June 1827) 857.



We are treated with an appendix of critical extracts from the Monthly Periodicals — a vile and degrading practice of which a gentleman, like Mr. Richardson, ought to be a shame [Blackwood's enumerates the 84 periodicals cited in the second edition of Richardson's Sonnets]. Mr. David Lester Richardson, who, we are sorry to see from his face and his verses, is but in indifferent health, must have had hard work, we do not say in writing, but in reading, all those eulogies of himself and muse. The first especial wonder is how the whole press of Britain and Ireland, which we have been lately assured is far too numerous to combine, and far too independent to be bribed, could thus with one voice break out into consentaneous panegyric of a literary gentleman returned from India, with a liver complaint, relieved by letting verses. The second especial wonder is, how the invalid could come at the knowledge of the existence of all those eight-four eulogies. He must have had spies stationed all over the realm — emissaries, with eyes fixed on all the metropolitan and provincial presses, from whom he received regular reports. But Mr. Richardson, apprehensive that the purchaser of him — a diamond British poet — may not be satisfied with such shreds and patches of praise as he has bedizened himself with, kindly refers them for "favourable notices of this volume," to [an additional enumeration of journals and newspapers, to the number of 122, "etc."]