Time was, ere these degenerate days


Purchased on library fine money, 1927 – *EC8.M4265.794pa

Thomas James Mathias (1754?-1835). The Pursuits of Literature, Part 1 (London, 1794).

Mathias’ satiric dialogue on “the smarting scribblers, cumbrous black-letter pedants, and translating poetasters of the day” went through fourteen editions by the time of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers. Byron thought the poem “the worst written of its kind,” but conceded that the footnotes were “indisputably excellent.” The poem occasioned many responses and rebuttals, including one from M. G. Lewis, whose Gothic novel The Monk was condemned by Mathias as obscene.