Book: Bowles William Lisle «A vindication of the late editor of Pope's works, from some charges brought against him, by a writer in the Quarterly review, for October, 1820»

A vindication of the late editor of Pope's works, from some charges brought against him, by a writer in the Quarterly review, for October, 1820

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Bowles, William Lisle

▪ British poet and clergyman
born , September 24, 1762, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire, England
died April 7, 1850, Salisbury, Wiltshire
 English poet, critic, and clergyman, noted principally for his Fourteen Sonnets (1789), which expresses with simple sincerity the thoughts and feelings inspired in a mind of delicate sensibility by the contemplation of natural scenes.

      Bowles was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, where he was a pupil of Thomas Warton (Warton, Thomas, the Younger), and became an Anglican priest in 1792. His Fourteen Sonnets was enthusiastically received by the early Romantic poets, whose theory and practice it foreshadowed, and the work particularly influenced Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Coleridge, Samuel Taylor). By 1794 the collection had been enlarged to 27 sonnets and 13 other poems. Bowles also published verse on political and religious topics: The Missionary (1813) is an attack on Spanish rule in South America. Days Departed; or, Banwell Hill (1828) is an eloquently reflective prospect poem (a subgenre of topographical poetry that considers a particular landscape as viewed from an elevated perspective).

      As a critic, Bowles is remembered for his assertion that natural objects and basic passions are intrinsically more poetic than are artificial products or mannered feelings. This attitude may have influenced Bowles's annotated 1806 edition of the works of Alexander Pope (Pope, Alexander), in which, under a mask of judicial impartiality, Bowles attacked the great poet's moral character and poetic principles. So began the pamphlet war known as the “Pope-Bowles controversy,” in which Pope's chief defenders were Thomas Campbell (Campbell, Thomas) and Lord Byron (Byron, George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron); Byron's characterization of Bowles as “the maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers” is perhaps the only memorable remnant of this seven-year-long (1819–26) public argument.

Additional Reading
Jacob Johan van Rennes, Bowles, Byron, and the Pope-Controversy (1927, reprinted 1969); Garland Greever (ed.), A Wiltshire Parson and His Friends: The Correspondence of William Lisle Bowles (1926).

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Источник: Bowles, William Lisle