Selected Poems of Eugene Lee-Hamilton (1845-1907)
|Author: ||Jackson, MacDonald|
This selection is designed to display the range of Eugene Lee-Hamilton’s verse at its best. Though this late-Victorian poet was praised by reviews of his own day, including John Addington Symonds, and is represented in modern Oxford and Penguin anthologies, there has been no 20th century collection of his poems. This volume has a long introduction summarizing Lee-Hamilton’s strange life, outlining his poetic development, and placing his verse in its 19th century context. Notes record the textual sources of all poems and discuss Lee-Hamilton’s revisions.
“A reader of poetry of rare sensibility and scope, passion and precision, with a deep knowledge of English literature of the late nineteenth century, Professor Jackson selects Eugene Lee-Hamilton’s verse with clarity, concision and conviction. Lee-Hamilton, a sort of Browning on anti-coagulant, spent twenty years on a wheeled bed in Florence, in a psychosomatic version of locked-in syndrome. He travels through space and time and minds, usually in brisk sonnet-length forays, and only rarely, but poignantly, turns to brood on his own plight. . . . Welcome to the canon a poet who fuses the sonnet, the dramatic monologue and the special historicism of the nineteenth century as no one else has ever done.” – Brian Boyd
“His introduction to the edition is scholarly, informative, and easy to read, and will both draw readers to the poems and elucidate them. His account of Lee-Hamilton’s life is acute and well researched, and the close relationship between his life and his art convincingly articulated. I particularly like the way in which various explanations for his years of ill-health are canvassed, and the possible physiological and psychological causes explored. The reader is informed without being forced to adopt a single explanation.” – David Gunby