1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Frances Brooke

Leigh Hunt, in Review of Dyce, Specimens of British Poetesses; The Companion (25 June 1828) 365.



Frances Brooke, author of Rosina, of Lady Julia Mandeville, &c. was a better poetess in her prose than her verse. Her Ode to Health, here given by Mr. Dyce, is not much. We should have preferred a song out of Rosina. But we will venture to affirm, she must have written a capital love-letter. These clergymen's daughters somehow (her father was a Rev. Mr. Moore) contrive to have a double zest in these matters. Mrs. Brooke was for some time, if we are not mistaken, one of the managers of the Italian Opera. Her novel of Lady Julia Mandeville, may be had of Mr. Limbird for eight-pence, or some such modicum. One is almost ashamed to give so little for knowledge: yet the time will come, we trust, and that before long, when it will be still cheaper. If newspapers (which are so many thick volumes printed miraculously on a sheet) can be tossed off so cheaply, by thousands, through the means of the new might of the steam-engine, why may not books be printed in like manner, a hundred at a blow?