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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
William Lisle Bowles to William Jerdan, [1822]

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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Produced by CATH
My dear Sir,

“I have just read the gratifying support your eloquent pen has given to my ‘Last Saxon,’ and I cannot delay cordially thanking you. I am the more gratified as you have pointed out so clearly, what appeared to me obvious, that the introduction of the ‘Witches’ was not needless, but in strict consonance with the cast and character given to William, and with the storms and earthquake, &c, as well as for poetical light and shade, which beings of this description give to poetical narrative. One of the critical school of Etourdi asked me, Cui inserviunt?

“Your observations on the divided interest in the last book, are most accurate and judicious. If I have a second edition, which I think your account sufficient to promise, this will be obviated,—by detaching Marcus from that scene entirely, and if I had had the advantage of consulting any one so judicious, or indeed had myself considered it, I could not only have prevented this conflict of sympathies, in this place, but have given additional effect to the narrative, by letting Marcus stay, where history places him,
in a convent at Lewes, making the brothers and sisters pass that way to see the plain of battle, making there the discovery of their brother,—reserving the discovery of Editha for the place where it stands—Marcus chiefly distracts the interest. When I read your objections, the obvious beauty, without going from historical truth, I might have introduced, struck me so forcibly that I almost exclaimed
“Oh! te Bowleane, cerebri!”
How could I miss it?

“You are equally right, I think, after consideration, in what you say of the songs of Editha, not being in character. In fact, a pastoral air was designedly given to them, as relief to the storm, darkness, and supernatural ideas. I thought there was ‘something too much of this,’ and that it wanted ‘breaking,’ and the songs are supposed to be reminiscences of happier days. I hope to have an opportunity of showing my respect for your opinion by altering the cast of character in them.

“With respect to the line you marked as not musical, it certainly was made as it stands designedly; a more obvious melody would be
“Toiling, from corse to corse, they trod in blood.”
But would this express the action, the toil, the difficulty? I dissent in this instance only from your remarks, but with hesitation, and indeed when you consider the numerous examples of this kind of verse, you will see, I think, the propriety of it, and if not of its individual, of its relative harmony.

“The part which I myself considered the most effective in the poem, was the introduction of William in the abbey,
and his discovery. I had never heard a syllable of the French poem on the subject.

“I am now in the corner
“Mihi me reddentis agel—” (broken off by the seal).
and all my village girls and boys in their best cloaks, are greeting our return.* Could I, can I, shall I, persuade you and
Croly, and my friend Watts, to come down for a week? Nares is coming the beginning of July. Do pray turn it in your thoughts, and believe me,

“Dear sir, most sincerely your obedient servant,


“Except, when I wrote a poem anonymously, I have never had a warm word from any critic in my life, but my little boat, somehow or other, has got on, in defiance of cockney-taste or cockney-animosity, and the guarded silence of the Duo fulmina, the ‘Quarterly, and Edinburgh.’ This I attribute to the steadiness with which I hope I have steered between the Scylla and Charybdis of modern taste, false simplicity, and affected tawdriness of ornament, with eye never removed from the models of the Greek έπιγραμματα, which I first proposed to myself as the only examples. I am prepared for something vindictive in the ‘Quarterly,’ of which D’Israeli of the ‘golden-silvery-diamond-eye’ firing ‘silver-circled-silver-shining’ style is the

* Mr. and Mrs. Bowles educated and clothed nearly all the poorer class of children in the parish of Bremhill. It was a most gratifying sight to see them fêted on the lawn in front of the beautiful mansion on a fine summer day. At a very short distance the Marchioness of Lansdowne was earnestly fulfilling a similar charity for the children around Bowood; and Tom Moore, at Sloperton, between the two, thus had visions of a more bountiful and better world than he had painted in his biting satires.—W. J.

Coryphœus: I hope, however, the editor will be above this revenge.”