Comments on Osgood's 1881 Lucile in
The Literary World, a Monthly Review of Current Literature; August 13, 1881, “News and Notes.”
James R. Osgood & Co. are out with the prospectus of an entirely new and truly elegant illustrated edition of Owen Meredith's "Lucile," a famous and favorite poem which well deserves as fine a dress as printer and engraver can give it: this poet's "best poem," Stedman calls it, "a really interesting, though sentimental, parlor novel, written in fluent verse." It was first published in 1860. The form which is to signalize its "coming of age," is a large quarto of over 330 pages, with more than 160 new wood-cuts, by Anthony, Linton, John Andrew & Son, and others, after drawings by Mrs. Hallock Foote, Ipsen, Moran, Ward, Sheppard, and half-a-dozen others. The plates will be entirely new. The volume will be ready early next month.
The Literary World. December 17, 1881. 12:26.
Owen Meredith's Lucile.
This choice volume is late in reaching us, having been published some weeks since, but is worth waiting for, and stands the closest examination. The poem, which is by no means new, may be described as a novel in dramatic verse, and is full of a foreign scenery which invites the best artistic skill. Stedman has called Lucile not only the best work of its author, but the most popular; a really interesting, though sentimental, parlor-novel, written in fluent verse,-- a kind of production exactly suited to his gift and limitations. “It is quite original," continues Mr. Stedman's estimate, "for Lytton adds to an inherited talent for melodramatic tale-writing a poetical ear, good knowledge of effect, and a taste for social excitements." The author, "Owen Meredith," will be remembered as the Hon. Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, now Lord Lytton. In its present form the intrinsic traits of Lucile whatever they may be, are left quite in the background by the chaste elegance of the typography and the rare beauty of the engravings,-- engravings than which we recall none finer in all the range of illustrated work of the present year. Their one common characteristic is finish. Their unfailing refinement and delicacy, whether of the full-page cuts, or of the vignettes that are scattered through the text, we have not seen excelled. The impressions are uniformly clear and brilliant, and equal to the best work in the American magazines. The cloth cover also is in the best of taste. [James R. Osgood & Co. $6.00.]
Last revised: 24 August 2010