Mackail, J. W. Life of William Morris .
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).
First printed in
The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine
, October, 1856.