1902 Encyclopedia > Mortimer Collins

Mortimer Collins
English novelist and poet
(1827-76)




MORTIMER COLLINS, (1827-1876), novelist and writer of lyrics, was born at Plymouth, and was educated at a private school. After some years spent in tuition and some contributions in verse to the Bristol newspapers, he re-paired to London, and devoted himself to journalism in the Conservative interest. In 1855 he published a volume of verse ; and in 1865 appeared his first story, Who is the Heir ? A second volume of lyrics, The Inn of Strange Meetings, was issued in 1871 ; and in 1872 he produced his longest and best sustained poem, The British Birds, a communication from the Ghost of Aristophanes. He wrote profusely for journals and magazines'—the Owl, the Globe, Punch, Temple Bar, Belgravia, the World, &c.—and pro-duced, besides, several novels, the most readable of which, perhaps, is Sweet Anne Page (1868). As novels merely, these works are not greatly to be commended; as the work of a clever man of pronounced opinions, they are often interesting enough. Their author's great claim to remembrance, however, is based upon his lyrics ; some of these, in their light grace, their sparkling wit, their airy philosophy, are equal to anything of their kind in modern English.







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