Featured Review – Byron and the Best of Poets

Whether poetry or prose, at Cambridge Scholars we are proud to publish texts that are critically reviewed in the best scholarly journals focusing on language and literature. This month, we are delighted to share an especially noteworthy review published in the latest issue of The Byron Journal.

Cambridge Scholars has published numerous texts on Byron to great acclaim, many of them authored by the late Peter Cochran. In 2016 we welcomed a new author on Byron to the fold, Nicholas Gayle, and his Byron and the Best of Poets has now joined the long list of our titles to break new ground in the study of the great romantic poet. In his review, David Woodhouse of the Byron Society comments:

“One of the charming features of this charming book is the way in which Nicholas Gayle takes ‘the passionate sincerity of Byron’s defence of Pope’ at face value […] Although Gayle provides a good flavour of the Pope/Bowles Controversy in his opening chapter, he finds it by turns ‘curious’, ‘frustrating’ and ‘sterile’. Instead, his equally ambitious project—the first full-length study of Byron’s ‘lifelong interaction with Pope’—focuses almost exclusively on ‘verse intertexts’ while draws upon ‘elements of biography and psychology’. […] Gayle’s finest comparison of Pope and Byron concentrates on ‘a particular quality of conversational tone’ in the portrayals of Pitholeon and Raucocanti. He demonstrates how the caricature of Pope as a poet of uniform pace and pause was such a wilful (if in many ways understandable) Romantic misreading. He also helps us begin to see how keeping ‘tune and time’, the anxious burden of the post-Augustan heroic couplet, becomes a relished part of the performance in anglicised ottava rima. Applause, in spite of faults, is due this book for the passionate sincerity with which Nicholas Gayle champions Byron and Pope and for his insistence that ‘the poetry is the thing’.”   

Woodhouse concludes that “Gayle has his own distinctive voice and his own original insights”, and that the book is a significant contribution to Byron studies. The full review is available here (requires subscription).

Gayle’s second book with Cambridge Scholars, Byron and the Sea-Green Isle, is available until the end of August for a cut-price £29.99. Please click here to purchase it.

We are always very happy to hear from authors with reviews of their titles and have published an ever-increasing number of reviews on our website. Being well-reviewed is a strong selling point for any book, and at Cambridge Scholars we have a number of ways in which we can help authors and editors to this end.

In the first instance, following publication our dedicated Reviews Editor will contact individuals and publications from our wide-ranging list of contacts. We have up to 20 review copies to send directly to any interested scholars or publications as standard. We appreciate that our authors have specialist knowledge in their subject areas, and we always welcome suggestions of potential reviewers both during and after publication.

For more information on the post-publication process, please visit our dedicated Post-Publication page by clicking here.

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