Wednesday, August 3, 2022

"Conversations on the Arts" and news from my Regency world

 It is so long since I have posted here, I cannot quite believe it. We have had illness in our family (on the way to resolution) and I am on a surgeon's list for knee replacement, so things have not been static. 

Also, during the seven months since my last blog, I have been writing another book. "The Tower's Peculiar Visitor", the third book in my Red Tower series, will be released in November of this year. Watch this space for further details soon.

And just a notice that my website is undergoing an overhaul soon, and will probably be unavailable for a month or two. The address will remain the same, but it will have a bright new look. I have been transferring a great deal of the information from the website to my Pinterest boards so for Regency information, do consult there.

Now for a Regency moment--

In Ackermann's Repository of the Arts of August 1812, in the 'Conversations on the Arts' column, the work of one Samuel Collings is discussed. He is described as a poet, "residing opposite to the Asylum, near Lambeth-Marsh Gate". It is said "...his compositions are under several of Bartolozzi's prints; also under prints from Reynolds." In fact, there was a Samuel Collings  who was an artist and caricaturist, a friend of Rowlandson, who was active in the 1780's and '90's. He dabbled in poetry, but his art is much better than his verse.

 THE MONTHS by Samuel Collings circa 1790


Lo, my fair, the morning hazy
Peeps abroad from yonder hill;
Phoeus rises red and hazy,
Frost has stopp'd the village mill. 


All around looks sad and dreary,
Fast the flaky snow descends;
Yet the red-breast chirrups cheery,
While the mitten'd lass attends.


Rise the winds and rocks the cottage,
Thaws the roof and wets the path;
Dorcas cooks the sav'ry pottage,
Smokes the cake upon the hearth.


Sunshine intermits with ardour,
Shades fly swiftly o'er the fields,
Show'rs revive the drooping verdue,
Sweets the sunny upland yields.

Pearly beams the eye of morning; 
Child! forbear the deed unblest;
Hawthorn ev'ry hedge adorning,
Pluck the flow'rs, but spare the nest.
Schoolboys in the brook disporting,
Spend the sultry hours of play;
While the nymphs and swaints are courting,
Seated on the new-made hay.
Maids, with each a guardian lover,
While the vivid lightning flies,
Hast'ning to the nearest cover,
Clasp their hands before their eyes.
Personally I think Mr. Collings should have restricted himself to art; his poetry was trite and pedestrian. His art however was very good and, overshadowed by the great talents of his era, he did not get the credit he deserved.

A good place to look at his art is the Google Art Project.
Perhaps I will print the rest of his poem in my next post. I will certainly tell you more about my new book, and reveal the beautiful cover. 

'Til next time,