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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Listings for Author:  

Phineas Fletcher


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Phineas Fletcher : [poems complete works]

'I devoured poetry and nothing but poetry until I became insensible to poetry. Take an example; I happened upon some fat volumes of Campbell's "British Poets", the complete works of from four to eight poets in each volume which cost me 6d. apiece. They had shabby worn leather bindings, and the type was on the small side and closely set. But I ploughed through them, doggedly, as if reading for a bet, or an imposed task. One volume I remember contained the poetical works of Samuel Daniel, Browne, Giles and Phineas Fletcher, Ben Johnson, Drummond (of Harthornden), John Donne, and some more minor ones. Another contained along with "also rans" Cowley, Milton and "Hudibras" Butler. And, I repeat, I ploughed through them with a stout heart, but little sense, and a dwindling understanding.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Thomas A. Jackson      Print: Book


Phineas Fletcher : The Purple Island, or, the Isle of Man

Robert Southey to Horace Walpole Bedford, 22-24 December 1793: 'Monday morning. of last nights verses I have two things to say. the metre is that of Ph. Fletchers purple island. the specimens of the poem in Headleys selection & Warton are beautiful — you promised me some information relative to a late edition. the other remark is that two more letters will probably grow out of this. the last stanza has given birth to a train of thoughts which wait your next for maturity. your last letter I found on my return from Bath — I had prolonged my stay there to enjoy Lovells company. you know the no-ceremony I stand upon when I wish to make a friend — it may be singular but I am sure to me singularly fortunate. as a poet in some walks I do not know his equal — in the plaintive & soft kinds — elegy & sonnet for instance but this is not his only merit — epistles & various other species he has handled with peculiar delicacy. I do not scruple to say that for elegance & simplicity of versification I know no Author in our language that surpasses him. most probably we shall soon publish together.'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Robert Southey      Print: Book


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