Alfred H. Miles, ed. Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.
Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles
Annie Matheson (18531924)
IT is some distinction for a modern poet to attain to the publication of a second volume of verse, and when a writer of poetry has found a public for three or four volumes, a somewhat unusual result has been achieved. When the verse is of a character which is not in a broad sense of the word popular, the success is the more marked.
Annie Mathesons several volumes followed each other through the last decade of the century. Religion of Humanity, and Other Poems (1890) impressed those able to discriminate by its earnestness of purpose, nobility of thought, and distinction of style and formMemorys Song being selected for special praise for its simplicity and pathos. Loves Music (1894) displayed the same humanitarian and philosophic qualities, and included some graceful lyrics, of which An April Song and A Christmas Lyric may be mentioned.
Love Triumphant (1898) shows a distinct advance in freedom of utterance and command of technique. The title poem was suggested by the picture by Sir E. Burne Jones, and the volume includes: The Great Commoner, an ode to the memory of Gladstone; one to Robert Browning; and one, The Year of Rejoicing, to the Empress Mother; besides a number of other fine poems. Of the lyrics, one entitled Love follows:
Selected Poems, Old and New (1900) gathered the best of the shorter poems from the preceding volumes, and presented them, with some more recently written, in convenient form. Of the quality of these the selections here will testify.
Annie Matheson was born at Blackheath, in 1853, the daughter of the late Rev. James Matheson, of Nottingham, and was privately educated. She wrote an introduction to John Halifax, in Methuens Little Library, and a critical note to Adam Bede, and to Silas Marner, in the Temple Classic Series; and has continually contributed to literary journalism.