COVENTRY KERSEY DIGHTON PATMORE (23 July 1823 – 26 November 1896)
was an English poet and critic best known for The Angel in the House
, his narrative poem about an ideal happy marriage.
* 1 Life
* 1.1 Youth
* 1.2 Major publications
* 2 Evaluation
* 3 Works
* 3.1 Articles
* 4 References and sources
* 5 Further reading
* 6 External links
The eldest son of author
Peter George Patmore ,
Coventry Patmore was
born at Woodford in
Essex and was privately educated. He was his
father's intimate and constant companion and inherited from him his
early literary enthusiasm. It was Coventry's ambition to become an
artist. He showed much promise, earning the silver palette of the
Society of Arts in 1838. In 1839 he was sent to school in France for
six months, where he began to write poetry . On his return, his father
planned to publish some of these youthful poems; Coventry however had
become interested in science, and poetry was set aside. Drawing
of Coventry Patmore, by John Brett , 1855.
At this time Patmore's father was financially embarrassed; and in
Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton
Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton obtained for Coventry
the post of printed book supernumary assistant at the
British Museum ,
a post he occupied for nineteen years, devoting his spare time to
poetry. In 1847 he married Emily Augusta Andrews, daughter of Dr.
Camberwell , and by 1851 they had had two sons, Coventry
(born 1848) and Tennyson (born 1850). Three daughters followed –
Emily (born 1853), Bertha (born 1855) and Gertrude (born 1857), before
their last child, a son (Henry John), was born in 1860.
He later returned to writing however, enthused by the success of
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Alfred Lord Tennyson ; and in 1844 he published a small volume of
Poems, which was original but uneven. Patmore, distressed at its
reception, bought up the remainder of the edition and destroyed it.
What upset him most was a cruel review in Blackwood\'s Magazine ; but
the enthusiasm of his friends, together with their more constructive
criticism, helped foster his talent. The publication of this volume
bore immediate fruit by causing its author to be introduced to various
men of letters, including
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti , through whom
Patmore became known to
William Holman Hunt
William Holman Hunt , and was thus drawn into
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood , contributing his poem "The Seasons"
to The Germ .
In his time at the
British Museum Patmore was instrumental in
starting the Volunteer Movement in 1852. He wrote an important letter
The Times on the subject, and stirred up much martial enthusiasm
among his colleagues.
Patmore's wife Emily, the model for the Angel in the House,
John Everett Millais
John Everett Millais . Patmore's home at 85 Fortis
Green , 1858-60.
In 1853 he republished Tamerton Church Tower, the more successful of
his pieces from Poems of 1844, adding several new poems which showed
distinct advance, both in conception and treatment; and in the
following year (1854) the first part of his best-known poem, The Angel
in the House appeared.
The Angel in the House is a long narrative
and lyric poem, with four sections composed over a period of years:
The Betrothed and The Espousals (1856) which eulogize his first wife;
followed by Faithful For Ever (1860); and The Victories of Love
(1862). The four works were published together in 1863 and have come
to symbolise the Victorian feminine ideal – which was not
necessarily the ideal amongst feminists of the period.
By 1861 the family was living in Elm Cottage, North End,
On 5 July 1862 Emily died after a lengthy and lingering illness, and
shortly afterwards Coventry joined the
Roman Catholic church.
In 1865 he remarried, his second wife being Marianne Byles, daughter
of James Byles of Bowden Hall ,
Gloucester ; a year later he purchased
Buxted Hall in
Surrey , the history of which he wrote in How I managed
my Estate (1886). In 1877 he published The Unknown Eros, which
contains his finest poetic work, and in the following year Amelia,
his own favourite among his poems, together with an interesting essay
on English Metrical Law, appeared. This departure into criticism
continued in 1879 with a volume of papers entitled Principle in Art,
and again in 1893 with Religio Poetae.
His second wife Marianne died in 1880, and in 1881 he married Harriet
Robson from Bletchingley in
Surrey (born 1840). Their son Francis was
born in 1882.
Patmore had a deep friendship with the poet
Alice Meynell , lasting
several years, which led to his becoming obsessed with her, forcing
her to break with him.
In later years he lived at
Lymington , where he died in 1896. He was
A collected edition of Patmore's poems appeared in two volumes in
1886, with a characteristic preface which might serve as the author's
epitaph. "I have written little", it runs; "but it is all my best; I
have never spoken when I had nothing to say, nor spared time or labour
to make my words true. I have respected posterity; and should there be
a posterity which cares for letters, I dare to hope that it will
respect me." The sincerity which underlies this statement, combined
with a certain lack of humour which peers through its naïveté,
points to two of the principal characteristics of Patmore's earlier
poetry; characteristics which came to be almost unconsciously merged
and harmonized as his style and his intention drew together into
unity. "Spring Cottage, Hamstead, 1860." Caricature by Max
His best work is found in the volume of odes called The Unknown Eros,
which is full not only of passages but entire poems in which exalted
thought is expressed in poetry of the richest and most dignified
melody. Spirituality informs his inspiration; the poetry is glowing
and alive. The magnificent piece in praise of winter, the solemn and
beautiful cadences of "Departure", and the homely but elevated pathos
of "The Toys", are in their manner unsurpassed in English poetry. His
somewhat reactionary political opinions, which also find expression in
his odes, find less praise today although they can certainly be said
to reflect, as do his essays, a serious and very active mind. Patmore
is today one of the least-known but best-regarded Victorian poets.
His son Henry John Patmore (1860–83) also became a poet.
* Principles in Art. London: George Bell and Sons, 1889.
* Courage in Politics and other Essays. London: Oxford University
* "William Barnes, the Dorset Poet," The Library Magazine, Vol. II,
November 1886/March 1887.
* “Distinction,” The Eclectic Magazine, Vol. LII, 1890
* "Three Essayettes," The Eclectic Magazine, Vol. LVI, July/December
REFERENCES AND SOURCES
* ^ "Coventry Patmore, the Poet of Love", The Literary Digest,
February 27, 1897.
* ^ "Mr. Coventry Patmore\'s Poems," The National Review, Vol. VI,
* ^ McSweeney, Kerry (2000). "The Angel in the House", Victorian
Poetry, Vol. 38, Number 2, Summer.
* ^ Hartnell, Elaine (1996). "'Nothing but Sweet and Womanly': A
Hagiography of Patmore's Angel", Victorian Poetry, Vol. 34, No. 4,
Coventry Patmore: 1823–1896. In Memoriam.
* ^ Gosse, Edmund (1897). "The History of a Poem," The North
American Review, Vol. 164, No. 484.
* ^ Freiwald, Bina (1988). "Of Selfsame Desire: Patmore's The Angel
in the House", Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 30, No.
* ^ "Advertising".
South Australian Register
South Australian Register (1839–1900).
Adelaide. 13 September 1862. p. 2. Retrieved 28 September 2012 – via
National Library of Australia.
* ^ Page, Frederick (1917). "Coventry Patmore\'s \'Unknown Eros\',"
The Catholic World, Vol. CV, April/September.
* ^ See
Vesica piscis .
* ^ Badeni , pp. 115–129.
* ^ "
Coventry Patmore Dead," The Catholic World, Vol. LXIV, October
* ^ Kerrigan, Michael (1998). Who Lies Where – A guide to famous
graves. London: Fourth Estate. p. 74. ISBN 1-85702-258-0 .
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Patmore, Coventry Kersey
Dighton". Encyclopædia Britannica . 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge
University Press. p. 928.
* Meynell, Alice (1911). "Coventry Patmore". In Herbermann, Charles.
Catholic Encyclopedia . 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
* Garnett, Richard (1901). "Patmore, Coventry Kersey Dighton". In
Lee, Sidney .
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography , 1901 supplement.
London : Smith, Elder & Co .
* Maynard, John. "Patmore, Coventry Kersey Deighton (1823–1896)".
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford
University Press. doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/21550 . (Subscription or UK
public library membership required.)
* Betham-Edwards, Matilda (1911). "Coventry Patmore." In: Friendly
Faces of Three Nationalities. London: Chapman & Hall, pp. 73–85.
* Bréguy, Katherine (1909–10). "Coventry Patmore," Part II, The
Catholic World, Vols. XC/XCI, pp. 796–806, 14–27.
* Brooks, Michael (1979). "John Ruskin, Coventry Patmore, and the
Nature of Gothic", Victorian Periodicals Review, Vol. XII, No. 4, pp.
* Burdett, Osbert (1919), "Coventry Patmore", The Dublin Review:
* ——— (1921), The Idea of Coventry Patmore, London: Oxford
University Press .
* Cadbury, William (1966). "The Structure of Feeling in a Poem by
Patmore: Meter, Phonology, Form", Victorian Poetry, Vol. IV, No. 4,
* Champneys, Basil (1900). Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry
Patmore, Vol. II. London: George Bell & Sons.
* Crook, J. Mordaunt (1996). "
Coventry Patmore and the Aesthetics of
Architecture", Victorian Poetry, Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, pp. 519–543.
* Dunn, John J. (1969). "Love and Eroticism: Coventry Patmore's
Mystical Imagery", Victorian Poetry, Vol. VII, No. 3, pp. 203–219.
* Edmond, Rod (1981). "Death Sequences: Patmore, Hardy, and the New
Domestic Elegy", Victorian Poetry, Vol. XIX, No. 2, pp. 151–165.
* Egan, Maurice Francis (1899). "The Ode Structure of Coventry
Patmore." In: Studies in Literature. St. Louis, Missouri.: B. Herder,
* Fisher, Benjamin F. (1996). "The Supernatural in Patmore's
Poetry", Victorian Poetry, Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, pp. 544–557.
* Fontana, Ernest (2003). "Patmore, Pascal, and Astronomy",
Victorian Poetry, Vol. XLI, No. 2, pp. 277–286.
* Forman, H. Buxton (1871). "Coventry Patmore." In: Our Living
Poets: An Essay in Criticism. London: Tinsley Brothers, pp. 257–271.
* Freeman, John (1917), "
Coventry Patmore and Francis Thompson", The
Moderns: Essays in Literary Criticism, Thomas Y. Crowell Co .
* ——— (1923), "Coventry Patmore", The North American Review,
218 (813) .
* Garnett, Richard (1897), "Recollections of Coventry Patmore", The
Living Age, XIII .
* ——— (1905), "Mr. Gosse on Coventry Patmore", The Bookman,
XXVIII (163) .
* Gelpi, Barbara Charlesworth (1996). "King Cophetua and Coventry
Patmore", Victorian Poetry, Vol. 34, No. 4, Coventry Patmore:
1823–1896. In Memoriam.
* Gosse, Edmund (1897), "Coventry Patmore: A Portrait", The Living
Age, XIII .
* ——— (1905), Coventry Patmore, Charles Scribner's Sons .
* Gwynn, Aubrey (1924). "A Daughter of Coventry Patmore", Studies:
An Irish Quarterly Review, Vol. XIII, No. 51, pp. 443–456.
* Harris, Frank (1920). "Coventry Patmore." In: Contemporary
Portraits. New York: Published by the author, pp. 191–210.
* Hind, C. Lewis (1922). "Coventry Patmore." In: More Authors and I.
London: John Lane the Bodley Head, pp. 240–246.
* Johnson, Lionel (1911). "Coventry Patmore\'s Genius." In: Post
Liminium: Essays and Critical Papers. London: Elkin Mathews, pp.
* Latham, David (2012). "Coventry Patmore\'s Fine Line," The Journal
of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, Vol. XXI, pp. 5–13.
* Leslie, Shane (1932). "Coventry Patmore." In: Studies in Sublime
Failure. London: Ernest Benn, pp. 113–178.
* Lubbock, Percy (1908). "Coventry Patmore," Quarterly Review, Vol.
CCVIII, pp. 356–376.
* Maynard, John (1996). "The Unknown Patmore", Victorian Poetry,
Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, pp. 443–455.
* Meynell, Alice (1908). "Mr. Coventry Patmore\'s Odes." In: The
Rhythm of Life and Other Essays. London: John Lane, the Bodley Head,
* Meynell, Alice (1922). "Coventry Patmore." In The Second Person
Singular. London: Oxford University Press, pp. 94–109.
* O'Keefee, Henry E. (1920). "Coventry Patmore." In: Though and
Memories. New York: The Paulist Press, pp. 30–54.
* Oliver, Edward James (1956). Coventry Patmore. New York: Sheed &
* Page, Frederick (1921), "Coventry Patmore: Points of View", The
Catholic World, CXIII (678) .
* ——— (1933), Patmore: A Study in Poetry, Oxford University
* Patmore, Derek (1949). The Life and Times of Coventry Patmore.
* Pearce, Brian Louis (1996). "
Coventry Patmore (1823–1896)", RSA
Journal, Vol. CXLIV, No. 5467, pp. 69–71.
* Pierson, Robert M. (1996). "Coventry Patmore's Ideas Concerning
English Prosody and "The Unknown Eros" Read Accordingly", Victorian
Poetry, Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, pp. 493–518.
* Roberts, Gerald (2012). "Hopkins and Patmore: Tory Politics and
Poetry", History Today, Vol. LXII, No. 1, pp. 30–36.
* Reid, John Cowie (1957). The Mind and Art of Coventry Patmore
London: Routledge ">(PDF ), The Catholic University of America Press .
* Russell, Matthew (1877). "Coventry Patmore," The Irish Monthly,
Vol. V, pp. 529–537.
* Symons, Arthur (1920). "Coventry Patmore," The North American
Review, Vol. CCXI, No. 771, pp. 266–272.
* Tovey, Duncan (1897). "Coventry Patmore." In: Reviews and Essays
in English Literature. London: George Bell & Sons, pp. 156–168.
* Weinig, Mary Anthony (1981). Coventry Patmore. Boston: Twayne
* Woodworth, Elizabeth (2006). "Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Coventry
Patmore, and Alfred Tennyson on Napoleon III: The Hero-Poet and
Carlylean Heroics", Victorian Poetry, Vol. XLIV, No. 4, pp. 543–560.
* Vere, Audrey de (1889). "Coventry Patmore\'s Poetry." In: Essays,
Chiefly Literary and Ethical. London: Macmillan border:solid #aaa
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* WorldCat Identities
* VIAF : 29550062
* LCCN : n50050665
* ISNI : 0000 0001 0883 1333
* GND : 118789872
* SUDOC : 085841064
* BNF : cb12034684j (data)
* NLA : 35789174
* NKC : jn20020123006