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Good Verses of a Bad Poet

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Genre Poetry: Other i
Subjects Death; Grief; Mourning; Mourning Customs in Literature; Funeral Rites and Ceremonies; Life Cycle, Human; Old Age; Mortality
Literature; Writing; Authorship; Reading; Books; Poetry; Storytelling; Letter Writing
Other Details
Printed : 6/4/1850
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume I
Magazine : No. 2
Office Book Notes
Memo4 lines from Sir Richard Blackmore, with 3-line comment.
Views : 3498

This tiny 'filler' article, less than ten lines of a single column, is not mentioned in the Office Book, and would appear to have been inserted at the direction of the editorial team. Sir Richard Blackmore (1654-1729; DNB) was a doughty doctor and poet, physician to both William III and Queen Anne, and embroiled in numerous controversies over his writings, which were widely ridiculed--by Pope and Dryden among many others--but stoutly defended. His empirical approach to medical matters, and rejection of theory-driven medicine and scholasticism, are made clear in various treatises and essays. The furnishing of the quotation could be attributed to Dickens as editor or to W. H. Wills as sub-editor (trained physician Henry Morley had not yet started to write for Household Words) but the endorsement of the four-line commentary on it is almost certainly Dickens's.

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