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Additional info for Algernon Swinburne: The Critical Heritage (The Collected Critical Heritage : Victorian Poets)
Then, although very popular among the ancients, as one may see from the frequent representations of its scenes in works of art, it does not form the subject of any extant Greek tragedy, so that a modern may treat of it without being forced into direct comparison with an ancient poet. Mr. Swinburne has been sensible of his advantages, and has used them well. His faculty of imitation is in some respects very surprising. A careful study of the Attic dramatists has enabled him to catch their manner, and to reproduce felicitously many of their terms of expression.
64. 65. 66. 67. 68. Swinburne’s letter that mentions adding more stanzas to ‘Dolores’ is dated by Lang ‘May or June 1865’. See Wise’s Bibliography (Bonchurch Edition, xx), 198–9. A letter from Mrs. Atherton, quoted in my Swinburne’s Literary Career and Fame (1933), 128, makes the association with Swinburne clear. Kubie’s Neurotic Distortion of the Creative Process (1958). Gosse’s statement in Lang, vi, especially 239 ff. This point is mentioned in Eileen Souffrin’s ‘Swinburne et sa Légende en France’, Revue de Literature Comparée (1951), xxv, 311–37, of which I have made some use.
His appearance was very unusual and in some ways beautiful, for his hair was glorious in abundance and colour and his eyes indescribably fine. When repeating poetry he had a perfectly natural way of lifting them in a rapt, unconscious gaze, and their clear green colour softened by thick brown eyelashes was unforgettable: ‘Looks commercing with the skies’1 expresses it without exaggeration. He was restless beyond words, scarcely standing still at all and almost dancing as he walked, while even in sitting he moved continually, seeming to keep time, by a swift movement of the hands at the wrists, and sometimes of the feet also, with some inner rhythm of excitement.