John Hamilton Reynolds Criticism - Essay

Monthly Review (essay date September 1814)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Review of Safie; An Eastern Tale. Monthly Review 75 (September 1814): 60-5.

[In the following essay, the reviewer praises the talent Reynolds demonstrates in his first major work but faults the poet for too closely imitating Lord Byron.]

We believe that this is Mr. Reynolds's first appearance at our tribunal, and we congratulate him on that introduction being sanctioned by a dedication to Lord Byron, whose style and manner it appears to be his principal aim to copy. If with the style and expression the noble Lord's genius and power of thought could be successfully attained, no object could be more worthy of a young author's ambition: but it must never be...

(The entire section is 1894 words.)

British Critic (essay date October 1817)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Review of The Naiad: A Tale. With Other Poems. British Critic 8 (October 1817): 415-20.

[In the following essay, the reviewer admires the story, imagination, and versification of The Naiad, but suggests that Reynolds falters by adopting Wordsworth as his model.]

This is really a pleasing little poem; the story of it is tastefully chosen, and told with lightness; the descriptions which it contains are given in a wild and fanciful manner, and in a versification which, though unequal, is upon the whole agreeably tuned. We could indeed wish that these merits were not so often thrown into the shade, by prettynesses, and simplenesses, and sillinesses,...

(The entire section is 2157 words.)

George L. Marsh (essay date 1928)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Marsh, George L. Introduction to John Hamilton Reynolds: Poetry and Prose, pp. 9-48. London: Humphrey Milford, 1928.

[In the following excerpt, Marsh characterizes Reynolds as a writer whose taste in poetry exceeded his talent.]

The rocket-like career of John Hamilton Reynolds has in it much that is puzzling, or at best uncertain; much that is pathetic, verging on the tragic. Here is one who at nineteen attracted Byron's attention as a clever young disciple; who at twenty-two was bracketed with Shelley and Keats as one of the young men destined to carry forward the torch of English poetry, and became thenceforth one of the closest and most intimate friends and...

(The entire section is 9395 words.)

Peter F. Morgan (essay date winter 1962)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Morgan, Peter F. “John Hamilton Reynolds and Thomas Hood.” Keats-Shelley Journal 11 (winter 1962): 83-95.

[In the following essay, Morgan discusses the literary collaboration of Reynolds with his brother-in-law Thomas Hood.]

In this paper I intend to give a chronological account of the relationship between Keats's friend, John Hamilton Reynolds, and Thomas Hood, bringing to light aspects of their careers not dealt with in previous studies.1

In June 1821, soon after becoming an assistant to Taylor and Hessey in editing their London Magazine, Hood became acquainted with Reynolds, who had for some time been a contributor to it....

(The entire section is 6107 words.)

Leonidas M. Jones (essay date 1970)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Jones, Leonidas M. “Reynolds and Rice in Defence of Patmore.” Keats-Shelley Memorial Bulletin 21 (1970): 12-20.

[In the following essay, Jones relates the details of a legal case that illuminates both Reynolds's career as an attorney and the intense rivalries among the periodicals for which Reynolds often wrote.]

Charles Brown wrote to Keats on 21 December 1820: ‘I know you don't like John Scott, but he is doing a thing that tickles me to the heart's core, and you will like to hear of it, if you have any revenge in your composition. By some means (crooked enough I dare say) he has got possession of one of Blackwood's gang, who has turned King's evidence,...

(The entire section is 3958 words.)

Leonidas M. Jones (essay date 1973)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Jones, Leonidas M. Introduction to The Letters of John Hamilton Reynolds, pp. ix-xxxvi. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1973.

[In the following excerpt, Jones presents an overview of Reynolds's literary career.]


John Hamilton Reynolds's father's family background entitled him to his place as a member of the Cockney school of English poetry. His great-grandfather, Thomas Reynolds, was a tanner of Tottenham, and his grandfather, Noble Reynolds, a barber of the same parish.1 His father, George, after attending Christ's Hospital from 1774 to 1779, taught school for most of his...

(The entire section is 9311 words.)

Leonidas M. Jones (essay date June 1979)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Jones, Leonidas M. “Reynolds' ‘The Romance of Youth,’ Hazlitt, and Keats's The Fall of Hyperion.English Language Notes 16, no. 4 (June 1979): 294-300.

[In the following essay, Jones compares poems by Reynolds and Keats, noting their similarities and arguing that Reynolds's work came first.]

Noting the marked similarity between Keats's encounter with Moneta in The Fall of Hyperion and Reynolds' poet's confrontation with the visionary female in “The Romance of Youth,” Robert Gittings suggested that Reynolds' passage was a rather tame and pale echo of the intense and poetically charged imagery of his great friend.1 Since...

(The entire section is 2723 words.)

Leonidas M. Jones (essay date 1984)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Jones, Leonidas M. “The Champion—1816-1817.” In The Life of John Hamilton Reynolds, pp. 80-96. Hanover, Vt: University Press of New England, 1984.

[In the following essay, Jones highlights Reynolds's years as a literary critic writing for Champion.]

Before beginning an account of his friendship with Keats, it will be well to consider what Reynolds's prose in the Champion reveals about his reading, critical views, and intellect. When he joined the staff of the weekly newspaper in December 1815, he could read Latin and Italian, and he had taught himself a little Greek. His wide reading in English literature in the five years after he left St....

(The entire section is 7576 words.)

John Barnard (essay date 1989)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Barnard, John. “Keats's ‘Robin Hood’, John Hamilton Reynolds, and the ‘Old Poets.’” Proceedings of the British Academy 75 (1989): 181-200.

[In the following essay, Barnard discusses Keats's debt to Reynolds as evidenced by the former's Robin Hood poems.]

Much of this lecture will be taken up with an exposition of the important letter which Keats sent, with two accompanying poems, to John Hamilton Reynolds on Tuesday, 3 February 1818. Two larger points are involved. First, Keats's individual letters, even more perhaps than has been realized, need to be read in the fullest possible assembly of the texts, both prose and poetic, which generate them, and...

(The entire section is 7599 words.)