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Record 17306

Reading Experience:

Elizabeth Barrett to Richard Hengist Horne, letter postmarked 21 February 1844: '[italics]Have[end italics] I read "Festus"? Certainly I have [...] Oh yes! I was much struck by "Festus" [...] Both the "Festus" & the supplement apologetic to it, which appeared in the Monthly Repository (I think) filled me with admiration [...] Its [italics]fault[end italics] is an extraordinary inequality -- so really one falls down precipices continually; & from pinnacles of grandeur, into profundities of badness. Parts of the poem are as bad, & as weak as is well possible to be conceived of: and moreover [...] there is an occasional coarseness & gratuitous indelicacy [...] Also, I will not say that there is not some over-daring in relation to divine things [...] But when all is said, what poet-stuff remains!'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 Apr 1840 and 21 Feb 1844
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Elizabeth Barrett
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 6 Mar 1806
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Writer
Religion: Evangelical
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Philip James Bailey
Title: Additional scene for Festus
Genre: Poetry, Astrology / alchemy / occult
Form of Text: Print: Serial / periodical
Publication details: In The Monthly Magazine, April 1840 (pp.383-409)
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 17306  
Source - Print  
  Author: n/a
  Editor: Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson
  Title: The Brownings' Correspondence
  Place of Publication: Winfield
  Date of Publication: 1990
  Vol: 8
  Page: 217
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson (ed.), The Brownings' Correspondence (Winfield, 1990), 8, p. 217,, accessed: 02 December 2023

Additional comments:

Text a version of the Faust myth. Source eds note that additional scene printed in the New Monthly Magazine, April 1840, accompanied by editorial note explaining that scene "'has been written by way of rejoinder to our critique on the original Poem"'; eds also note that the Monthly Repository had already ceased publication when Festus appeared (see p.218 n.6 in source).



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)