William Cosmo Monkhouse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Cosmo Monkhouse
William Cosmo Monkhouse by John McLure Hamilton.jpg

William Cosmo Monkhouse by John McLure Hamilton[1]
Born (1840-03-18)18 March 1840
London, U.K.
Died 20 July 1901(1901-07-20) (aged 61)
Nationality English
Occupation Poet and art critic
Spouse(s) Laura Keymer (first wife), Leonora Eliza Blount (second wife)
Parents Cyril John Monkhouse (father)

William Cosmo Monkhouse (18 March 1840 – 20 July 1901), English poet and critic.[2]

Biography[edit]

Monkhouse was born in London. His father, Cyril John Monkhouse, was a solicitor; his mother's maiden name was Delafosse. He was educated at St Paul's School, quitting it at seventeen to enter the board of trade as a junior supplementary clerk, from which grade he rose eventually to be the assistant-secretary to the finance department of the office. In 1870–71 he visited South America in connection with the hospital accommodation for seamen at Valparaíso, Chile, and other ports; and he served on different departmental committees, notably that of 1894–96 on the Mercantile Marine Fund. He was twice married: first, to Laura, daughter of James Keymer of Dartford; and, secondly, to Leonora Eliza, daughter of Commander Blount, R.N.

Cosmo Monkhouse was one of those who have not only a vocation, but an avocation. His first bias was to poetry, and in 1865 he issued A Dream of Idleness and Other Poems, a collection strongly coloured by his admiration for Wordsworth and Tennyson. It was marked by exceptional maturity, and scarcely received the recognition it deserved. Owing perhaps to this circumstance, it was not till 1890 that he put forth Corn and Poppies, a collection which contains at least one memorable effort in the well-known "Dead March." Five years later appeared a limited edition of the striking ballad of The Christ upon the Hill, illustrated with etchings by William Strang. After his death his poetical output was completed by Pasiteles the Elder and other Poems (including The Christ upon the Hill).

In 1868 Monkhouse wrote a novel, A Question of Honour. Then, after preluding with a Life of Turner in the "Great Artists Series" (1879), he devoted himself almost exclusively to art criticism. Besides many contributions to the Academy, the Saturday Review, the Magazine of Art and other periodicals, he published volumes on The Italian Pre-Raphaelites (1887), The Earlier English Water-Colour Painters (1890 and 1897), In the National Gallery (1895) and British Contemporary Artists (1899). He wrote a monograph on the illustrator of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland entitled The Life and Work of Sir John Tenniel, R. I. (London: 1901). He was a contributor to the Dictionary of National Biography from the beginning. Monkhouse also wrote an excellent Memoir of Leigh Hunt in the "Great Writers Series" (1887).[3]

As an art critic Monkhouse's judgments were highly valued; and he had the rare gift of differing without offending, while he invariably secured respect for his honesty and ability. As a poet, his ambition was wide and his devotion to the art thorough.

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Portrait Gallery, London
  2. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  3. ^ Monkhouse, William Cosmo; Anderson, John Parker (1893), Life of Leigh Hunt, London: Walter Scott Ltd. 

External links[edit]