Linton- Life in the Collections
Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
New York 1870
With this illustrated edition of Barrett Brownings tragical ballad Scribner and Company tried to measure up to the enormous success of Holland’s poem Kathrina with the same team, William John Hennessy as illustrator and Linton being responsible for the engravings. “In the Lady Geraldine I had the help, for almost all the landscape part, of Alfred Harral, my fellow-worker in early years.” (The History of Wood Engraving in America) Compared with the precursor the illustrations are rather moderate.
As an intellectual who was engaged in emancipatory causes, the Victorian poet was held in high esteem in the circles of the New England republicans. Although there had been many overlappings in their interests and also in their circle of acquaintances, Linton doesn’t mention Barrett Browning in his Memoirs. Lady Geraldine’s Courtship was her most popular poem. Originally published in 1844, the violent romance was much admired by Thomas Carlyle, Harriet Martineau and the Rossetti brothers. It was Edgar Allan Poe, who had promoted this piece of poetry in North America. He had dedicated his 1845 edition of poems to Barrett Browning, and it was widely known that he had borrowed the complex rhythm and meter of his gothic ballad The Raven from her juvenile poem.