Biography of Edward Dowden
Edward Dowden was born in Cork, County Cork, Ireland.
Irish critic, biographer, and poet, noted for his critical work on Shakespeare.
Educated at Queen's College, Cork, and Trinity College, Dublin, Dowden became professor of English literature at Trinity in 1867 and lectured at Oxford (1890-93) and Cambridge (1893-96).
His Shakespeare: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art (1875) was the first book in English to attempt a unified and rounded picture of Shakespeare's development as an artist, studying him in terms of successive periods. His other works on Shakespeare include the primer Shakspere (1877), which was written for a nonacademic audience, and several edited collections of sonnets. He also provided the text to accompany the illustrations in Shakespeare Scenes and Characters (1876).
His wide interests and scholarly methods made his influence on criticism both sound and stimulating, and his own ideals are well described in his essay on The Interpretation of Literature in his Transcripts and Studies. As commissioner of education in Ireland (1896–1901), trustee of the National Library of Ireland, secretary of the Irish Liberal Union and vice-president of the Irish Unionist Alliance, he enforced his view that literature should not be divorced from practical life. His biographical/critical concepts, particularly in connection with Shakespeare, are played with by Stephen Dedalus in the library chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses. Leslie Fiedler was to play with them again in The Stranger in Shakespeare.
Dowden married twice, first (1866) Mary Clerke, and secondly (1895) Elizabeth Dickinson West, daughter of the dean of St Patrick's. His daughter, Hester Dowden, was a well-known spiritualist medium
Edward Dowden's Works:
Shakespeare : a critical study of his mind and art (1875)
Shakespeare Primer (1877)
The life of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1886)
Introduction to Shakespeare (1893)
A History of French Literature (1897)
The French revolution and English literature; lectures delivered in connection with the sesquicentennial celebration of Princeton university (1897)
New studies in literature (1902)
Robert Browning (1904)
Michel de Montaigne (1905)
Studies in literature, 1789-1877 (1909)
Essays modern and Elizabethan (1910)
Puritan and Anglican; studies in literature (1910)
Transcripts and studies (1910)
A woman's reliquary (1913)
Letters of Edward Dowden and his correspondents (1914)
Fragments from old letters, - E.D. to E.D.W., 1869-1892 (1914) in 2 vols. v.1 v.2
The Life Of Robert Browning (1915)
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia Edward Dowden; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.
Edward Dowden Poems
In The Garden I: The Garden
PAST the town's clamour is a garden full Of loneness and old greenery; at noon When birds are hush'd, save one dim cushat's croon, A ripen'd silence hangs beneath the cool
UNDER the flaming wings of cherubim I moved toward that high altar. O, the hour! And the light waxed intenser, and the dim Low edges of the hills and the grey sea
My long first year of perfect love, My deep new dream of joy; She was a little chubby girl, I was a chubby boy.
A New Hymn for Solitude
I found Thee in my heart, O Lord, As in some secret shrine; I knelt, I waited for Thy word, I joyed to name Thee mine.
The Secret of the Universe
AN ODE (By a Western Spinning Dervish)
Leonardo's 'Monna Lisa'
MAKE thyself known, Sibyl, or let despair Of knowing thee be absolute; I wait Hour-long and waste a soul. What word of fate Hides 'twixt the lips which smile and still forbear?
Lord, I have knelt and tried to pray to-night, But Thy love came upon me like a sleep, And all desire died out; upon the deep Of Thy mere love I lay, each thought in light
In The Garden III: An Interior
THE grass around my limbs is deep and sweet; Yonder the house has lost its shadow wholly, The blinds are dropped, and softly now and slowly The day flows in and floats; a calm retreat
THE bow of promise, this lost flaring star, Terror and hope are in mid-heaven; but She, The mighty-wing'd crown'd Lady Melancholy, Heeds not. O to what vision'd goal afar
By the Window
STILL deep into the West I gazed; the light Clear, spiritual, tranquil as a bird Wide-winged that soars on the smooth gale and sleeps, Was it from sun far-set or moon unrisen?
WHY do I make no poems? Good my friend Now is there silence through the summer woods, In whose green depths and lawny solitudes The light is dreaming; voicings clear ascend
In The Cathedral
THE altar-lights burn low, the incense-fume Sickens: O listen, how the priestly prayer Runs as a fenland stream; a dim despair Hails through their chaunt of praise, who here inhume
In The Garden V: A Summer Moon
QUEEN-MOON of this enchanted summer night, One virgin slave companioning thee,--I lie Vacant to thy possession as this sky Conquer'd and calm'd by thy rejoicing might;
In The Garden IV: The Singer
"THAT was the thrush's last good-night," I thought, And heard the soft descent of summer rain In the droop'd garden leaves; but hush! again The perfect iterance,--freer than unsought
Leonardo's 'Monna Lisa'
MAKE thyself known, Sibyl, or let despair
Of knowing thee be absolute; I wait
Hour-long and waste a soul. What word of fate
Hides 'twixt the lips which smile and still forbear?
Secret perfection! Mystery too fair!
Tangle the sense no more lest I should hate
Thy delicate tyranny, the inviolate
Poise of thy folded hands, thy fallen hair.
Nay, nay,--I wrong thee with rough words; still be