Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Poetry - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

I've started dipping into this Oxford anthology of 19th century poetry by women edited by Isobel Armstrong, Joseph Bristow & Cath Sharrock. I've chosen a poem by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, one of my favourite novelists. She only published one collection of poetry, in 1861, but, as she was supporting her family, she probably found that her sensation novels paid much better. This is called To A Coquette, & I can imagine many of her upright heroes saying these words to her duplicitous, but fascinating, heroines.
Braddon was also in my mind this week as I've bought the ebook of Valancourt Press's new edition of her late novel, Dead Love Has Chains. This wasn't included in the Delphi collection I bought recently & I'm looking forward to reading it.

I had planned to write a review of the new Lord Peter Wimsey novel by Jill Paton Walsh, The Late Scholar, this afternoon. But, it's the end of a long hot week &, even though the cool change has arrived, it's still quite humid (without any rain which is the only thing that would make the humidity bearable). So, I hope to post a review later in the week when I have more energy. I did enjoy the book, though. Peter & Harriet back in Oxford with lots of references to their last visit there in Gaudy Night & cameo appearances from several of the dons.

Lady, in thy radiant eyes,
A depth of deadly falsehood lies;
Lady, from thy low replies
Bitter memories arise
That recall past agonies;
When I hung upon thy sighs,
when I deemed thee true as wise;
But Time's wings, as fast he flies,
Sweep youth's stars from manhood's skies;
And I know thy fairest guise
Only masks thy cruelties.


  1. Interesting book to dip into. I wonder who the person was she was writing about.

    1. Yes, it would be interesting to know if she had a real,person in mind.

  2. That poem does make one think about her women characters, some of whom are definitely hiding things behind their lovely facades. (We had 42 degrees yesterday and a delicious lower 20s today -- the relief of being able to think properly again!)

    1. It feels a lot cooler now but I'd have loved some rain to fill up my tanks. They're sort of, maybe promising some rain at the end of the week so I have my fingers crossed.

  3. That could certainly be Lady Audley! Completely new to me, thanks for posting it.

    You have heat and fires, we have floods. Oh for a happy medium.

    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to autumn & I'm sure you're looking forward to spring. Much cooler this morning but summer's not over yet.

  4. Poetry does have the power to paint a clear picture of emotions doesn't it!

    I'll have to be patient as The Late Scholar isn't released here until June.... darn it

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for rain for you, we would like some snow and my sister would love it to stop raining ! about international weather requests

    1. If only someone was listening to our requests - we could all end up with the weather we want! Late Scholar is very good so it'll be worth the wait.