Lucile Reviewed in
Putnam's Magazine 1:1 (January 1868), p.129.
IT is somewhat difficult to settle down to a critical estimate of an author's poems, when the verses come to us in such fine holiday trim as the poems Lucile, by Owen Meredith (Ticknor &s Fields), and "North Coast, and Other Poems," by Robert Buchanan (Routledge & Sons). The eye is first attracted by the brilliant decorations, the thick, glossy paper, the gold-leaf, and the manifold artistic graces of the Brothers Dalziel ; and it is not till, as it were, we have divested the beauty of her ball-room finery and extravagance of dress, that we are able to see her in her simple personal attractions. It is Ball and Black with their diamonds, or the laces and silks of Stewart, or the skilful manipulation of Dieden that we are for the time admiring. The lady's turn comes at last, and we forget them all. We may, however, be doing injustice to the brilliance of the attire in which their publishers have invested two of the favorite authors of the day, since, though rich, it is in exceedingly good taste, and the merit of the productions is proof against any application of the old saying of the workmanship surpassing the material. Besides, the realistic character of the illustrations has its subduing effect, bringing the gazer down to a sober appreciation of the text. The reputation of "Lucile," indeed, is sufficiently established; for, has it not been in "blue and gold," and consequently in the hands of all fair readers of poetry in America, a familiar companion, since its first publication?-- a charming novel, with its society airs and more private sensibilities and heart adventures, tickling the fancy with its seemingly careless bait most artistical rhyming. Now, with its portrait of the author, Robert Lytton, as a frontispiece, a countenance marked with the impress of thought and feeling, and the finely-drawn, earnest, and, at times, passionate illustrations of Du Maurier, the work may fairly be said to renew its existence.
Last revised: 23 August 2010