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Page 193

Arthur Sherbo

It is ironic that The Cambridge Review, A Journal of University Life and Thought (hereafter CR) is rarely, if at all, cited in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. The tentativeness of my statement is a matter of scholarly caution, but the NCBEL's list of periodical abbreviations does not include the CR, and in every instance where I have sought in it a reference to an article from the CR I have come away empty-handed. It is not only the compilers of the NCBEL (myself included) who have neglected the journal, for most other bibliographers, biographers, and editors of the works of this essayist or that poet have been equally remiss in ignoring essays, poems, reviews, obituary notices, and miscellaneous information of all kinds to be found there. The neglect may result from the apparent scarcity of full sets: the British Union-Catalogue of Periodicals lists complete runs only in three Cambridge libraries and the British Library, and the nineteen American holdings recorded by the Union List of Serials include only one set of all the numbers. By calling attention to representative pieces from the periodical, I hope to resurrect interest in the CR—even as it now seems to have met its final demise.[1]


Some of the overlooked materials are noteworthy for their authorship. Over the years a number of uncollected poems appeared in the pages of CR, many of them written by members of the University, but some by writers known far from Cambridge. When the young Thackeray visited Weimar in 1830, he wrote a drinking song and translated a passage from Goethe's Faust that he titled “Rosa”; Walter Vulpius quotes these in “Thackeray in Weimar” (The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 53 [April 1897]: 920-928, but he does not mention another poem from that time claimed for Thackeray in the CR. In a short piece entitled “Thackeray and Goethe” (71 [29 Oct. 1949]: 68), Trevor Jones reprints a poem signed “Leonora Splutch” from Das Chaos, a weekly magazine edited by Goethe's daughter-in-law Ottilie. Jones states that “The secret of the authorship of this poem was not divulged; but there is no reasonable doubt that it was written by Thackeray.” With the poem Jones prints a Thackeray drawing of Goethe:


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Tartary's famous for Timour,
America boasts of her Penn;
Goethe's the glory of Weimar,
Now standing alone among men.
Clapham's honours are fled; if it had 'em
They've taken up other abodes.
Wet Scotland is famed for M'Adam
Who's called “The Colossus of Rhodes.”
In London we've Brougham and we've Malthus,
And Cobbett, a glorious name.
Our Smoky metropolis shall thus
Long darken the annals of Fame.
We've Hunt, and the Duke of St. Albans;
Miss Kemble, whose talent's a chouse.
The glories of Chelsea are small buns,
Of Hammersmith, Brandenburg House.
Brunel has half scooped out a tunnel
To join muddy Essex to Kent.
Great Dublin has greater O'Connell
Who started the Catholic Rent.
Tartary's famous for Timour;
Penn's praises all languages sound;
Goethe's the glory of Weimar.
Where now can his fellow be found?

The CR also provides some otherwise unrecorded verses from Charles Stuart Calverley, who according to his modern editor Hilda D. Spear excelled in “light verse, parody and pastiche” (The English Poems of Charles Stuart Calverley, 1974, p. 9). Spear does not note eight parodic lines that Calverley (who attended Harrow) added to an anonymous versifier's poem. I quote the entire item, which appears as an editorial comment in CR 23 (1 May 1902), 279:

A few lines by Calverley have been recently discovered on the back of a copy of Latin verses, entitled `Fair Fidele.' The two first stanzas are in the writing of the versifier, and Calverley evidently completed the poem.

When howling winds and beating rain
In tempest shake thy sylvan cell,
Or 'midst the chase on every plane,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell.
Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed;
Beloved, till life can charm no more,
And mourned, till Pity's self be dead.
What though the earth thy ashes wraps,
And owls around the cold gave hoot?,
Though unromantic prentice chaps
Ramp o'er the spot with hobnailed boot?
Thy memory still our thought employs,
Still thy meek virtues we'll rehearse;


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And quantities of Harrow boys
Shall turn thee into Latin verse.

The CR also contains unnoticed work by more recent writers. Bernard Stone's bibliography appended to Robert Greacen's The World of C. P. Snow (1962) lists one piece on Snow in the periodical but nothing by him there. In fact, Snow contributed an essay, “A Use for Popular Scientists” (52 [10 June 1931]: 492-493) and three reviews: of Sir James Jeans, The Stars in Their Courses (52 [29 May 1931]: 452); H. G. Wells, Autobiography (vol. 1: 56 [19 Oct. 1934]: 27; vol. 2: 56 [30 Nov. 1934]: 148), reprinted in the more accessible The Cambridge Mind, Ninety Years of the CAMBRDIGE REVIEW, 1879-1969 (1970), 280-285; and Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer (61 [28 Oct. 1939]: 53-54). Eben E. Bass includes a 1959 article by Snow about Huxley in his Aldous Huxley: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism (1981), but he does not mention Snow's review.

Letters to editors usually are not listed in the bibliographies of writers, but these can be of great interest. B. J. Kirkpatrick's Soho bibliography of E. M. Forster's writings (1965; rev. 1968) admirably records a letter and ensuing correspondence in the CR over the nomination of the Chancellor for Cambridge University, but it ignores an even more interesting one. On 30 January 1948 Forster, writing from King's College, Cambridge, complained of noisy aircraft. The letter was printed in the next number of the CR (69 [7 Feb. 1948]: 310, 312):

Would any of your readers care to co-operate in an attempt to abate the nuisance of aircraft over Cambridge?

Sufferers may be surprised to learn that exercising over this area is prohibited, and that all, or nearly all, of the planes which disturb us do so contrary to regulations. I understand the Ministry would be willing to make enquiries, provided adequate information is supplied. What is required is the name and address of the complainant, the date and hour when the plane was seen, and also its number- or, if that cannot be deciphered, a clear description of it.

Both our Burgesses have been so good as to interest themselves in the matter. Complaints should be addressed to either of them at the House of Commons, and will be forwarded to the Ministry provided they are properly documented.

This cry from the heart brought but one answer. From Jesus College came A. P. Rossiter's agreement with Forster, but with the objection that the burden of proof should not be on the complainant, i.e. the private citizen. His letter, published in the next CR (14 Feb. 1948: 338), concluded, “I ask, because I feel uncertain that the incidence of burglaries would be much reduced if the burglar- ee were left to write a memorandum to the Home Office, giving the time and place and the burglar's apparent appearance.” The rest is silence, but not in the sky above Cambridge.

Through its innovative section devoted to reviews of books of all kinds, the CR list of contributors also serves as a roll of great teachers and scholars at Cambridge University: A. W. Verrall, E. M. W. Tillyard, G. M. Trevelyan, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, Sir Herbert Butterfield, Sir Ernest Baker, Bertrand Russell, Muriel Bradbrook, Joan Bennett, Sir S. C. Roberts, Brian Downs, T. R. Henn, M. R. James, F. L. Lucas, Joseph Needham, I. A. Richards, Sir


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Charles Percy Snow, Raymond Williams, Basil Willey, D. A. Winstanley. Add, too, the names of W. H. O. Rouse and Sir Shane Leslie. Bibliographies of scholars, typically appended to festschriften, are often incomplete; again, examination of the CR provides a way of ameliorating that deficiency.


Other neglected pieces are notable for their subjects (though these too are often by writers important in their own right). For instance, Andor Gomme's reviews of William Faulkner's A Fable (77 [8 Oct. 1955]: 9) and Faulkner's County: Tales of Yoknapatawpha County (77 [5 Nov. 1955]: 139) have not been recorded. Gomme writes of The Fable that it “is precisely the book which one did not expect from Faulkner; and it is a book which he, perhaps, can ill afford. Too big a writer for it to be taken as a matter of course, he may yet not be big enough for it to make no difference.” Of the anthology of Faulkner's writings, he concludes that “it must be admitted that few who have not enjoyed meeting Faulkner's county will get much fun out of coming to know his world.”

Besides reviews of new literature, the CR contains essays on earlier writers and works. What I conceive to be an important talk on Wordsworth, one printed in the 29 April 1950 number (71: 464-466), is overlooked by Elton F. Henley and David H. Stam, editors of Wordsworthian Criticism, 1945-1964: An Annotated Bibliography (1965). The address was by George Macaulay Trevelyan, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a name with which to conjure. The bibliography does list Wordsworth at Cambridge, an account of the centenary meetings, but there is no explicit mention of Macaulay or of Ernest Alfred Benians, Master of St John's College, Cambridge, who spoke on “St. John's College in Wordsworth's Time.” Benians's address is printed on pages 2-10 of Wordsworth at Cambridge, the full title of which is A Record of the Commemoration Held at St. John's College, Cambridge in April, 1950, published at the Cambridge University Press in that year; Trevelyan's address, on pages 21-26. In 1980 Trevelyan's daughter, Mary Moorman, wrote a Memoir of her father in which she tells of his love of Wordsworth's poetry; her remarks (see the index) should be added to Trevelyan on Wordsworth.

An important discussion especially striking for its omission from the NCBEL is that over the authorship of Observations upon a Late Libel, which its editor Hugh Macdonald attributed in 1940 to George Savile, 1st Marquis of Halifax. The ascription was attacked by B. Behrens of Newham College in a piece titled “Pseudo-Halifax” in the 19 November 1940 CR (62: 107-108). Macdonald replied at length on the 29th (62: 146-147), and Miss Behrens, having been shown the proofs of Macdonald's reply, answered in the same number (147-148). Herbert Butterfield joined in and professed polite doubt about the attribution, as did Brian Wormald of Peterhouse (148-149). It was not until 7 January 1941 that Macdonald answered his critics and at that time appealed to the authority of H. C. Foxcroft, the biographer of Halifax, who supported his view in a signed statement (182-183). Immediately upon


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this another scholar entered the arena, Miss Muriel Bradbrook of Girton College (183-184), whose help had been acknowledged in Macdonald's introduction. Miss Behrens took issue with Miss Bradbrook and again with Macdonald on 24 January 1941 (202), but it was one of Miss Bradbrook's friends and colleagues, the eminent historian Miss Helen M. Cam, who had the last word, a most pertinent and clear-sighted analysis of the rules of evidence in problems of this kind (203). Miss Cam posited that “To begin with, by historical criteria an anonymous ascription of authorship has no evidential value as to the fact of authorship, and twice nought is nought”; she then rehearsed and refuted the arguments of those accepting the ascription. Anyone interested in Halifax or in matters of attribution will want to know of and study this correspondence. The letters by Herbert Butterfield and Miss Bradbrook may have seemed ephemeral to the compilers of the writings of both scholars, for they are absent from those compilations.

Volume 86 of CR (1964-65) provides a number of examples of consequential discussions that have not been recorded. In those pages Roy Stone (unknown to fame, unlike the two other writers to be discussed) wrote a provocative article titled “Dr. Johnson: Philologist or Philosopher?” (14 Nov. 1964: 114-119, 121), in which Wittgenstein's name appears a number of times, as well as those of other philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and writers on legal matters. The NCBEL is, of course, selective, but Stone's article, important enough to deserve notice by Johnsonians, may have been unknown to the compiler of that entry. It is also not recorded in James L. Clifford and Donald J. Greene's Samuel Johnson: A Survey and Bibliography of Critical Studies (1970).

Also in that volume is Arthur Pollard's piece “Mrs. Gaskell's Short Stories” (8 May 1965: 374-377, 379), which became the first half of Chapter 7, “Short Stories and Novels,” of his Mrs. Gaskell (1966, pp. 172-187). Indeed, the first seven paragraphs of CR are repeated in the book, with only minor changes in phrasing. Major differences, however, occur beginning in paragraph nine, a discussion of the story “A Dark Night's Work” that is considerably expanded in the book. Paragraphs eleven through thirteen are identical, and then Pollard comes to the story “Six Weeks in Heppenheim,” which he could not rate quite so highly as Mrs. Gaskell, an opinion not expressed in CR. The rest of the paragraph (two paragraphs in the book) is, again, verbatim. The concluding paragraph in CR becomes the concluding paragraph of the whole chapter in the book. Pollard's is the outstanding name in studies of Mrs. Gaskell; his piece deserves to be known by scholars interested in Mrs. Gaskell's writings.

A third item of interest in that volume is by Sir Geoffrey Keynes, who with Edmund Blunden contributes pieces to the CR on the fiftieth anniversary of Rupert Brooke's death. As Christopher Hassall's biography of Brooke had come out earlier in 1964, Sir Geoffrey takes occasion to offer some comments on that biography. Sir Geoffrey stated in the introduction to A Bibliography of Rupert Brooke (1959) that he and Brooke “entered the same house at Rugby in the same term” (15); Brooke was fourteen then, and


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he and Keynes remained close friends until Brooke's death at twenty-seven. Hassall's biography of Brooke was dedicated to Keynes, and, indeed, it had fallen to Sir Geoffrey to complete the biography on Hassall's death. Sir Geoffrey edited Brooke's poetry in 1946 and a collection of his letters in 1968. Because of this long and deep connection, Keynes's piece in CR (12 June 1965: 482-483) demands inclusion in a bibliography. Indeed, the Preface to the selected letters and the Bibliographical Preface that follows it together constitute a rifaciamento of the CR piece, with some passages verbatim or nearly so. I limit quotation from the CR to Sir Geoffrey's concluding paragraph:

When Brooke died it was not primarily the poet that his friends mourned. It was rather the sense that the light of a shining personality and intellect had been extinguished. His poetic faculties might have increased in power—more probably they would have waned with the growth of more critical and scholarly perceptions. His creativeness might have taken quite other turns, but he would have left his mark in some unexpected way on the life of England.

Finally, one can also mine from the CR reviews of important criticism and critical editions. B. J. Kirkpatrick's Soho bibliography of Edmund Blunden (1979) lists one piece from the CR, on Rupert Brooke's poetry (86 [12 June 1965]: 483-484), but neglects Blunden's review of Frank Kendon's Seatonian Prize Poem, The Flawless Stone (64 [24 April 1943]: 270). The review ends, “The sensibilities of the poet have chosen his speech and his cadences in this and in other parts of his work, and if the poem is one more of those that `prove nothing' it is one of those also which gives the listener a deep desire to encounter life with the freshness of spirit so eloquent in it all.” Similarly, Susan Vander Closter's 1985 reference guide to secondary materials on Joyce Cary and Lawrence Durrell fails to record J. B. Broadbent's review of Cary's Art and Reality, the 1956 Clark Lectures (80 [18 Oct. 1958]: 49, 51). Broadbent states that “These are the finest Clark Lectures since Mr Forster's Aspects of the Novel in 1927 (not that the competition in those thirty years has been fierce).”

Frederick P. W. McDowell's E. M. Forster: An Annotated Bibliography of Writings about Him (1976) includes a 1975 article by George Savidis in the Times Literary Supplement, but Savidis's review of Forster's Two Cheers for Democracy in the 1 December 1951 CR (73 [Dec. 1951]: 182, 184) is not listed. The review is titled “Our Mutual Friend” and begins with the statements that “No suitable label has yet been found for Mr E. M. Forster” and that “it has been suggested lately that, in the absence of a single word to describe him, Mr Forster's own description of André Gide, in his note on Gide's Death, could be applied, without modification, to Mr Forster himself.” Savidis goes on to suggest that despite the affinities between the two writers, “yet in at least one essential respect the two men stand very much apart.” Forster had described Gide as a humanist, “not of other ages, but of this one.” The humanist, according to Forster, must have “a belief in the human race,” and it is in this characteristic that the two men differ, for Forster believed in the human race while Gide did not. Savidis concludes by stating that the book


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“is not only his [Forster's] positive testimony to his beliefs, it is also one of the best testimonies to our dignity as human beings.”

Henley and Stam's bibliography of writings on Wordsworth lists sixteen reviews of Ben Ross Schneider's Wordsworth's Cambridge Education (1957) but omits the long and thoughtful one by John Beer in 79 [7 June 1958]: 618-621—even though it does cite another book Beer reviewed at the same time. Willis J. Buckingham's 1970 bibliography of Emily Dickinson for the years 1850-1966 includes Thomas H. Johnson's 1955 biography and six reviews of it. Arthur Sale's highly critical review (77 [19 May 1956]: 599, 601-602) is not among them, though Buckingham does cite two other pieces by him from the CR. In one of them, his review of Johnson's edition of The Letters of Emily Dickinson (80 [21 Feb. 1959]: 357-358), Sale continues his assault on the biography: he speaks of the “editor, whose Introduction is as good, but too brief, as his `interpretative biography' of 1955 was undistinguished, and too long.” Students of Henry James can likewise benefit by turning to the CR. Joan Bennett reviews F. O. Matthieson's edition of The Note Books of Henry James (70 [23 Oct. 1948]: 38, 40) and Janet Adam Smith's Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson: A Record of Friendship and Criticism (70 [19 Feb. 1949]: 396); neither review has been included in the bibliographies of criticism of James.

Andor Gomme's review of F. R. Leavis's D. H. Lawrence: Novelist (77 [12 Nov. 1955]: 151, 153) should be read in the light of his later remarks about Leavis on Lawrence in his Attitudes to Criticism (1966). In the review Gomme describes Leavis's work as “a tiresome heavyweight of a book, lumpily constructed, stodgily written, and, though strikingly poor in illuminating vocabulary, full of Dr. Leavis's familiar array of quips and sneers and jibes and jeers. I can scarcely imagine many who are not already hardened Leavisites or established Lawrentians giving it the attention it deserves.” Another review pertaining to Lawrence, W. W. Robson's long (almost eight columns) assessment of Graham Hough's The Dark Sun: A Study of D. H. Lawrence (78 [1 June 1957] 638-641, 643) is mandatory reading, particularly to complement Robson's lengthy discussion of Lawrence in his Modern English Literature (1970) and specifically of Women in Love in The Modern Age (edited by Boris Ford, 1961; this article reprinted in Robson's Critical Essays, 1966). Robson has nothing but scorn for Hough's criticism.

Bibliographers and other students of literary history have much to gain from scrutiny of the Cambridge Review. Those who ignore the periodical do so at their risk.


In a survey headed “In memoriam,” The Times Literary Supplement of 13 November 1998 recounts the recent fortunes of the journal, including its official cessation in 1998 (p. 34).


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