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Della Cruscans

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Della Cruscans

Porta a' Pinti English Cemetery, Florence, before 1827

The Della Cruscans were a circle of European late-18th-century sentimental poets founded by Robert Merry (1755–98).

History and influence

Robert Merry travelled to Bertie Greatheed's "The Dream" opens the collection with an indictment of the current deplorable state of poetry and calls for a return to a Miltonic style. The call to the past was made even more clear by the inclusion of translations of poems by Dante and Petrarch. Hester Thrale Piozzi's preface is more modest: "we wrote [these poems] to divert ourselves, and to say kind things of each other; we collected them that our reciprocal expressions of kindness might not be lost, and we printed them because we had no reason to be ashamed of our mutual partiality."[1] William Parsons, a travelling Briton, was also of the circle. Merry returned to the UK in 1787 and published "Adieu and Recall to Love" in The World under the name of "Della Crusca". He was answered by Hannah Cowley's "The Pen," published two weeks later under the name of "Anna Matilda," their literary flirtation played out in the pages of the journal, and the Della Cruscan phenomenon spread to England. The highly successful The Poetry of the World(1788), a collection of the poetic dialogue between "Anna Matilda" and "Della Crusca," followed shortly and went through several editions. Other members of the English Della Cruscan circle were "Laura Maria" (Mary Robinson), "Benedict" (Edward Jerningham), "Reuben" (Greatheed), Frederick Pilon, and others.

Subject to criticism in their own time, notably [7]

Texts

  • The Arno Miscellany (privately printed, 1784). Contributors: Robert Merry, Bertie Greatheed, Hester Thrale Piozzi
  • The Florence Miscellany (Florence, G. Cam, 1785). Contributors: William Parsons (editor), Robert Merry, Hester Thrale Piozzi, Bertie Greatheed, Ippolito Pindemonte, Lorenzo Pignotti, Angelo d'Elci, Giuseppe Parini, Marco Lastri, Gabriel Mario Piozzi.
  • The Poetry of the World (John Bell, ed., 1788). The fourth edition was retitled The British Album (2 Vols., 1790) Contributors: Robert Merry, Hannah Cowley

Etexts

  • "Anna Matilda"[Hannah Cowley], "To Della Crusca"; "To Della Crusca. The Pen"; "Invocation to Horror"; "To Indifference"
  • "Della Crusca" [Robert Merry], seventeen poems
  • Bertie Greatheed, "A Dream"; "Ode to Apathy"; "Ode to Duel"
  • "Laura Maria" [Mary Robinson], "Ainsi va le Monde, A Poem inscribed to Robert Merry"; "Ode to Della Crusca"; twenty-two poems
  • William Parsons, seven poems

Endnotes

  1. ^ English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition
  2. ^ Ian Ousby, "Della Cruscans," The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (Cambridge UP, 2000) 249.
  3. ^ Margaret Drabble, ed. "Della Cruscans,"The Oxford Companion to English Literature(OUP, 1985) 265.
  4. ^ Rev. James Wood, ed. Nuttall Encyclopædia
  5. ^ English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition
  6. ^ English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition
  7. ^ a b Silvia Bordoni, "Lord Byron and the Della Cruscans: The Della Cruscans' Anglo-Italian Poetics," The Centre for Study of Byron and Romanticism, 2006 [accessed April 13, 2007].

Resources

  • Bordoni, Silvia. "Lord Byron and the Della Cruscans: The Della Cruscans' Anglo-Italian Poetics." The Centre for Study of Byron and Romanticism, 2006 [accessed April 13, 2007].
  • Drabble, Margaret, ed. "Della Cruscans"; "Gifford, William.The Oxford Companion to English Literature. OUP, 1985. 265-266; 390-391.
  • Hargreaves-Mawdsley, W.N. The English Della Cruscans and Their Time, 1783-1828. International Archives of the History of Ideas #22. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1967.
  • Labbe, Jacqueline M. "Anthologised Romance of Della Crusca and Anna Matilda." Romanticism On the Net 18 (May 2000) [accessed April 13, 2007].
  • Longaker, John Mark. The Della Cruscans and William Gifford: The History of a Minor Movement in an Age of Literary Transition. University of Pennsylvania, 1924.
  • Ousby, Ian. "Della Cruscans." The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge UP, 2000. 249 [accessed April 12, 2007].
  • Radcliffe, David Hill, compiler. English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition
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