Alfred H. Miles, ed. Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.
Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles
Rosa Newmarch (18571940)
MRS. NEWMARCH, so well and favourably known to all musicians as the Editor of the Living Masters of Music series issued by Mr. John Lane, a series which may fairly claim to be a new departure in musical literature, and as the author of the well-known work, Tchaikovsky, His Life and Works, was born on the 18th of December, 1857, at Leamington Spa, the youngest child of Samuel Jeaffreson, M.D. Her maternal grandfather was James Kenney, a well-known playwright in his day, author of Raising the Wind (Jeremy Diddler), Sweethearts and Wives, etc., etc. Her mother in her younger days enjoyed the friendship of Charles and Mary Lamb, Samuel Rogers, Prosper Merimée, Jules Sandeau and other well-known people. Mrs. Jeaffreson encouraged her little daughter to write, but she died when her youngest child was only fourteen years old, and as Mrs. Newmarch pathetically puts it, After that I had no literary confidant.
Removing to London on her marriage in 1883, Mrs. Newmarch began writing on musical subjects, contributing articles to Groves Dictionary of Music, the Dictionary of National Biography, and, having made a special study of Russian art and literature, to the Fortnightly, Contemporary, Studio, etc., on Russian music and painting, upon which subjects she has also lectured. Mrs. Newmarch visits Russia as often as she is able, and so keeps herself in touch with its movements and developments in arts and letters.
Mrs. Newmarchs first volume of poems was published in 1903 under the title Horæ Amoris: Songs and Sonnets. The title poem (Loves Book of Hours) is a sonnet sequence based on a series of tragic events which actually happened, and each sonnet crystallises a phase or a mood in the inner life of the two chief actors. It may have been suggested by Merediths Modern Love, but it is not consciously imitative of it. Love of music and Russia gives distinction to the volume.
Songs to a Singer, and Other Verses is the title of Mrs. Newmarchs second volume of verse, published by Mr. John Lane in 1906. The selections given in the following pages will doubtless make all lovers of music desire to possess the whole.