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The literary reputation of Charles Harpur, 1868-1900

Mishra, V. (1976) The literary reputation of Charles Harpur, 1868-1900. Southerly, 36 (4). pp. 432-440.


"Although Mr Harpur may never rank very high as a poet. it is clear that he possesses a certain amount of genius." In such ambivalent terms, G. B. Barton summed up his estimate of Charles Harpur in his The Poets and Prose Writers of N.S.W. (1866). Two years later, and still trying to have his poems published in a collected edition, Harpur died. In a letter to Kendall in January 1867 Harpur had written: "it is my intention to 'shut up', for the next five or six years: when I hope to be able to put forth at my own expense a volume of three or four hundred pages". For a while Harpur had hoped that Thomas Sutcliffe Mort would be able to t poems to England for publication. Unfortunately, fell through because Mort did not leave for England. The des're for a wider recognition therefore came to nought. Meanwhile Harpur, during the dispirited years following the death of his favourite son Richard, had continued to scrupulously re-write his poems in a form worthy of publication.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: English Dept. University of Sydney
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