Critical Study of the Works of Four British Writers

Author: Stanford, Donald E.
Stanford, Donald E.
Assigns a rightful place in the British literary canon to four authors wrongly forgotten or marginalized – Margaret Louisa Woods (1856-1945), Mary Coleridge (1861-1907), Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938) and R.C. Trevelyan (1872-1951). Each chapter on one of the four authors is subdivided into sections that present the writer’s life, followed by discussions of the writings, organized by genre (fiction, poetry, verse drama, and critical prose). Interwoven among these sections are connections between the author and other writers of the day, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, and Robert Bridges. Stanford draws not only on published sources, but also on many unpublished sources, including letters (an appendix prints eight previously unpublished letters from Mary Coleridge and Robert Bridges, for example) to create a book about a literary period of dramatic transition as well as about four minor writers who deserve to have their reputations restored alongside those of the major figures with whom they interacted.


“ ... [Professor] Donald E. Stanford brings together in his final book two of his central concerns as scholar, critic, editor, and poet: the assignment of a rightful place in the literary canon to poets wrongly forgotten or marginalized and a defense of reasonable poetic experimentation that does not discard such essential defining characteristics of poetry as a regularly repeated rhythmic or syllabic patterning as well as significant and longstanding practices and inclinations of English writers, especially poets, including the use of classical myth, the evocation of natural beauty, the deliberate employment of an elevated poetic diction, and the presentation of subjects from history.” – (From the Introduction) Dr. David Middleton, Nicholls State University

“By any measure this is an important and commanding work ... it represents the judicious “last testament” of Professor Stanford ... [his] acute sense of how poetry works and how it derives from a dynamic interpretation of literature and life is evident on every page ... [Professor] R.W. Crump has done a splendid job of editing this material, unobtrusively but authoritatively ... this posthumous contribution ... to our understanding of modern literature will prove a lasting one.” – Professor William Bedford Clark, Texas A&M University

“ ... Time is surely ripe for the appearance of this extraordinary book … it not only completes ... the superb body of scholarship on Robert Bridges that was the crown of Stanford’s career as a critic, but also broadens and clarifies both our understanding of Bridges’ achievement but also the scope and profundity of his influence as a poet and a critic ... [this work] is ... a major contribution to literary history and criticism, and to the lasting significance of the classical tradition in literature. Stanford’s work is decidedly enhanced by ... Professor Crump’s judicious editorial work.” – Professor John R. May, Louisiana State University

Table of Contents

Introduction by David Middleton
Editor’s Foreword and Acknowledgements by R.W. Crump
Preface and Acknowledgements by Donald E. Stanford
1. Margaret Louisa Woods (1856-1945)
2. Mary Coleridge (1861-1907)
3. Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938)
4. R.C. Trevelyan (1872-1951)
1. The Unpublished Letters of Mary Coleridge to Robert Bridges