Scope and Content

Letter from George Gissing to Nellie. He writes of the death of the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882): I like his poetry, can often read a little poem, & feel better for it. He is not very deep; by the side of the great poets he sinks into insignificance; yet there is a quiet & sunny atmosphere in his work which often refreshes when one is not in the humour for climbing the heights, and responds to her request for advice as to the reading of poetry: Did you ever read [William] Cowper's Task? I think you would find it very enjoyable; I should like you to go carefully through it & let me have your opinion. Then I want you to read all [Oliver] Goldsmith's poetry. There is little of it but what there is, is perfect.

Dated at 29 Dorchester Place, Blandford Square, [London] N.W.


Published in P.F. Mattheisen, et al., The collected letters of George Gissing, volume two, 1881-1885 (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1990), pp. 77-8.