‘Unremembered Kindness’: George Dyer and English Romanticism

  • Nicholas Roe
Part of the Macmillan Studies in Romanticism book series (SR)


‘The oftener I see him, the more deeply I admire him. He is goodness itself.’ So Charles Lamb described his esteem for George Dyer in a letter to Coleridge, 26 August 1800 (Marrs, i. 235). Elsewhere, however, Dyer frequently turns up in a joke at his own expense. His short sight and chronic absent-mindedness contributed to a number of humorous stories, such as Leigh Hunt’s recollection that Dyer had once left a dinner wearing only one shoe, and had not discovered his loss until half way home. Best known of these tales about Dyer are Elia’s two essays ‘Oxford in the Vacation’ and ‘Amicus Redivivus’. The former essay indulges Dyer’s pedantic scholarship,

busy as a moth over some rotten archive, rummaged out of some seldom-explored press, in a nook at Oriel. With long poring, he is grown almost into a book. He stood as passive as one by the side of the old shelves. I longed to new-coat him in Russia, and assign him his place.


French Revolution Reform Movement Moral Effect English Constitution Religious Liberty 
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  1. 7.
    Robert Robinson, A Political Catechism (London, 1784) 57.Google Scholar
  2. 17.
    W. E. Gibbs, ‘An Unpublished Letter from John Thelwall to S. T. Coleridge’, Modern Language Review 25 (1930) 85–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Nicholas Roe 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Roe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of St AndrewsUK

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