Lascelles Abercrombie Criticism - Essay

Louis Untermeyer (review date 15 June 1913)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Untermeyer, Louis. “Deborah: Mr. Abercrombie's Verse Drama of Life among Fisher Folk.” New York Times Book Review (15 June 1913): 357.

[In the following review, Untermeyer assesses Abercrombie's verse drama Deborah as one of the finest examples in its genre of its day.]

Just as the critics have proved, to their own satisfaction, that the classics are dead, that restraint and nobility of thought have perished beneath the blows of a savage and incoherent realism, that a sonorous blank-verse drama cannot be written to-day except possibly in slang, Mr. Lascelles Abercrombie is discovered—and smash go all their solemn predictions and glum...

(The entire section is 989 words.)

Mary C. Sturgeon (essay date 1916)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sturgeon, Mary C. “Lascelles Abercrombie.” In Studies of Contemporary Poets, pp. 11-35. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1916.

[In the following excerpt, Sturgeon examines the ways in which Abercrombie's poetry represents the age in which it was written.]

In the sweet chorus of modern poetry one may hear a strange new harmony. It is the life of our time, evoking its own music: constraining the poetic spirit to utter its own message. The peculiar beauty of contemporary poetry, with its fresh and varied charm, grows from that; and in that, too, its vitality is assured. Its art has the deep sanction of loyalty: its loyalty draws inspiration from the living...

(The entire section is 5422 words.)

Cornelius Weygandt (essay date 1937)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Weygandt, Cornelius. “Realists of the Countryside.” In The Time of Yeats: English Poetry of To-day against an American Background, pp. 336-62. New York: Russell and Russell, 1937.

[In the following essay, Weygandt concludes that Abercrombie's vivid characterizations are the most memorable elements of his poetry.]

Lascelles Abercrombie (b. 1881) is a difficult poet. He is primarily concerned with philosophical problems, or psychological problems, which may be carried by a thread of narrative, or of drama, but which, when they are so carried, strain the thread to the breaking point. And whatever he is concerned with he is concerned with at length. He is not...

(The entire section is 1630 words.)

Esther Safer Fisher (essay date September 1980)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fisher, Esther Safer. “Lascelles Abercrombie—Playwright.” Modern Drama 23, no. 3 (September 1980): 297-308.

[In the following essay, Fisher discusses how Abercrombie's plays convey “symbolic realism” through his frequent use of metaphorical language and symbolic settings, as well as by choosing anti-heroic themes and characters.]


Best known as a critic and poet, Lascelles Abercrombie (1881-1938) was also a playwright deeply concerned with the state of the English theatre in the first three decades of this century. For the most part, he was adversely critical of the commercial theatre of his day, opposed to the twin evils of...

(The entire section is 5053 words.)

Rennie Parker (essay date 1999)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Parker, Rennie. “Lascelles Abercrombie: ‘What Great Things I Meant to Do.’” In The Georgian Poets: Abercrombie, Brooke, Drinkwater, Gibson, and Thomas, pp. 6-20. Plymouth, England: Northcote House Publishers, 1999.

[In the following essay, Parker places Abercrombie within the historical context of his contemporaries and discusses his critical reception.]

‘Anyone who has ever heard him will remember the charm of his reading voice, the best reading voice of any poet known to me, or indeed of any man’ (J. W. Haines).1 This is not the photogenic and charismatic Rupert Brooke, but the little-known poet Lascelles Abercrombie (1881-1938), whose...

(The entire section is 6362 words.)