Neglected Genius!


Edgar Huidekoper Wells fund, 1957 – *EC8.C1537.799p

Come forth, oh CAMPBELL! give thy talents scope;
Who dares aspire if thou must cease to hope?

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844). The Pleasures of Hope; with Other Poems (Edinburgh, 1799).

The Scottish poet’s first book was intended as a companion to Samuel Rogers’ The Pleasures of Memory (1792) and enjoyed comparable success. Byron thought Campbell a “neglected Genius” for upholding the poetic tradition of Pope. The book contains a passage on “Foulweather Jack” Byron, the poet’s grandfather, who endured great hardship after his vessel the HMS Wager was shipwrecked off the coast of Patagonia in 1741. He is depicted in a fanciful engraving by Edward Mitchell after John Graham.