chapter  6
12 Pages

Jeffrey, from his unsigned review of The Corsair and The Bride of Abydos, Edinburgh Review

Dated April 1814, issued July 1814, XXIII, 198–229

Lord Jeffrey had reviewed The Giaour in very favourable terms in the Edinburgh Review for July 1813, commenting on its fragmentary structure, the quality of the verse, and the character of the hero. But his review of The Corsair and The Bride of Abydos is a more sustained attempt at analysing the nature of Lord Byron's appeal for contemporary readers. His cyclical theory of taste and his view of romantic primitivism should be contrasted with Thomas Love Peacock's dismissive account in The Four Ages of Poetry. The Corsair has detained the authors so long, that they must make short work with The Bride of Abydos—which is a piece indeed of a slighter structure, and more easily despatched. This is a Turkish tale, like The Giaour, written in yet more irregular verse, and abounding more in soft and tender scenes, and less in terrors and horrors than any of Lord Byron's other publications.