1810
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On beholding the Portraiture of Sir Philip Sidney in the Gallery at Penshurst.

The Defense of Poesy. [Philip Sidney, ed. Edward Thurlow.]

Edward Thurlow


One of seven Spenserian sonnets appended to an early reprint of Sir Philip Sidney's Defense of Poetry. Edward Thurlow did not sign his name to the sonnets.

Anti-Jacobin Review: "We had never heard of this tremendous effect of Spenser's imagination; but, whatever may be the truth of the statement, or Lord Thurlow's design in introducing it, we can relieve his lordship's mind from any apprehension of producing a similar effect by the fervour of his own imagination; for we venture to assert, and without fear of contradiction, that he will never set even the Thames on fire" 45 (1813) 62-63.

Epes Sargent: "This nobleman (1781-1829) is sometimes confounded with Lord Thurlow, the celebrated Lord High Chancellor of England; but he was quite a different person. His poems were ridiculed by Moore and Byron, but, with many faults, show some rare beauties. His Select Poems was published in 1821" Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 359.

Rodney M. Baine: "This edition, elegantly printed by W. Bulmer in quarto on large wove paper, evidently found so few purchasers at the shop of White and Cochrane on Fleet Street that Thurlow decided to get rid of some copies by preparing a private or gift issue. For this issue he used the original sheets containing the text of Sidney's defence but printed new preliminaries. He deleted the publisher's names on the title-page, acknowledged there the sonnets included in both issues, changed the date of publication to 1811, suppressed the advertisement, and added a two-leaf gathering to include an additional original poem. The leaves he had only slightly cut and gilded; and the whole issue he had elegantly bound" "The First Anthologies of English Literary Criticism (1950-51) 263.



The man that looks, sweet Sidney, in thy face,
Beholding there love's truest majesty,
And the soft image of departed grace,
Shall fill his mind with magnanimity:
There may he read unfeign'd humility,
And golden pity, born of heavenly brood,
Unsullied thoughts of immortality,
And musing virtue, prodigal of blood:
Yes, in this map of what is fair and good,
This glorious index of a heavenly book,
Not seldom, as in youthful years he stood,
Divinest Spencer would admiring look;
And, framing thence high wit and pure desire,
Imagined deeds, that set the world on fire.

[(1812) p. 1]