1871 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Kennedy

S. C. Hall, in A Book of Memories: Great Men and Women of the Age, from personal Acquaintance (1871) 247n.



I knew intimately, between the years 1826 and 1830, the author I have quoted — William Kennedy. He was undoubtedly a man of genius, but wayward and reckless. I lost sight of him many years before he died. My introduction to him was singular. I reviewed in the Eclectic Review — so far back as 1825 — a small book he had published, either in Glasgow or Paisley, and received from him a letter of acknowledgment. It led to my inviting him to London as my guest, and by my influence he obtained a situation as reporter on the Morning Journal, a newspaper with which I was myself connected, and of which I was subsequently, for a time, the editor. Kennedy was an Irishman, a native of Belfast. His youth had been "wandering." Previous to his visiting London he was, I understood, a strolling player in Scotland, where he had probably acquired habits that led to the early close of a life which might have been most honourable and prosperous, for his abilities had attracted attention, and he obtained the appointment of Consul (I think) at Venezuela.