Roger’s Table Talk

William Fulford

General Description

Date: 1856
Genre: Prose essay


◦ Mackail, J. W. Life of William Morris .

Scholarly Commentary

Guest Editor: PC Fleming


William Fulford’s review of Alexander Dyce’s Recollections of the Table Talk of Samuel Rogers is possibly the most negative review in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. Fulford makes such deprecating remarks as “a more unentertaining book was never written” (642) and “the publication of it was an evil” (644). He is not necessarily opposed to the idea of reporting the private conversations of a poet; on the contrary, he finds the idea exhilarating. But he finds the bits of conversation Dyce chooses to report both boring and, at times, insulting. “Of the many illustrious names introduced,” Fulford writes, “there are few that he does not sully” (643).

Such a mean-spirited review is atypical of Fulford, and of the Magazine in general. The original plan was for the Magazine, as recorded in Price’s diary, was to have “no shewing off, no quips, no sneers, no lampooning” (Mackail 81), Fulford himself, in his essay on Alexander Smith, wrote that “had [my opinion of Smith] been adverse, this review would not have been written” (549).

Printing History

First printed in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine , October, 1856.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: Fulford021.raw.xml