Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)
The intersection of Walter Savage Landor’s interests with those of Wordsworth began promisingly enough. Robert Southey – a close friend, and one whose literary merits were given high praise by Landor on several occasions – passed on to Wordsworth several flattering messages from Landor. Wordsworth responded several times, again through the mediation of Southey’s good will. Landor paid a high tribute to Wordsworth in Idyllia Heroica Decem (1820), a collection of Latin poems. Longmans, Landor’s publisher, was reluctant to print and distribute the book because the firm foresaw limited sales, and Landor was forced to publish it in Pisa. Wordsworth, responding to the compliment, wrote back (3 September 1821) that ‘It could not but be grateful to me to be praised by a Poet who has written verses of which I would rather have been the Author than of any produced in our time. What I now write to you, I have frequently said to many.’ Wordsworth was alluding to ‘Gebir’ and ‘Count Julian’, which he could conjure up from his capacious memory; at the time he wrote his letter, however, his eye inflammation had prevented him from reading the Latin poems themselves.
KeywordsLimited Sale Capacious Memory Paradise Lost High Praise Poetical Work
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