M.J.D., Readings with the Poets. (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co.; Kingston-on-Hull: Leng & Co., 1871)
Information about the collection: One of the few collections compiled by a woman on the site thus far, this miscellany is quite well described by the editor's own introduction below. As she notes, the author's names are printed at the end of the poems, and there are no headnotes or any biographical, critical or bibliographic information. Except for L.E. Landon, the names of the women poets in the TOC are all preceded by either "Mrs." or "Miss" as in "Mrs. Hemans," "Mrs. Southey," and "Miss Strickland." The ordering of the TOC is done by subject.
Introduction: Very few words are necessary in introducing another to the many interesting volumes of poetical selections which already enrich our literature. In the following pages will be found a variety of specimens of the most exquisitely beautiful poems within the compass of our language. Systematic arrangement, or classification of the subjects, has not been attempted, as the selections appear too miscellaneous to admit of the observance of such a rule. An Index of Subjects, as well as of Authors' Names, has, however, been added. The Compiler's province has been simply to cull the most fragrant flowers which she found in the region of Parnassus, nor has her object been attained without the exercise of much research and labour. She is, however, ready to acknowledge with Coleridge, and say with 'the old man eloquent,' that 'Poetry has been to me an exceeding great reward. It has soothed my affliction. It has multiplied and refined my enjoyments. It has endeared my solitude, and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.'
There will be found in this volume several of the productions of our sweet singers on whom the mantle of poetic inspiration still rests; and their noble thoughts, lofty imaginings, and divinity of song, will find many listening ears and grateful hearts even amidst the bustle and toil of our unquiet world. Their skill in the god-like art of heaven-descended poetry can hardly fail to bring their readers refreshment, solace, and delight.
To those modern authors, and also to their respective publishers, through whose courtesy the Compiler has been enabled to insert various poems, which, like golden sunshine, irradiate the following pages, her grateful acknowledgments are due, and are respectfully offered, especially to Messrs Longman, Green & Co., Messrs J. & H. Parker, Messrs Routledge & Sons, and to Mr. Murray; and also to the Edinburgh publishers, Messrs Blackwood, Blackie, and Black, she returns her best thanks.
Table of Contents: Called "List of Subjects" in this volume and not yet transcribed.