Alfred Gurney

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Alfred Gurney (1843–1898) was an English cleric and writer.

Early life[edit]

The second son of John Hampden Gurney, he was a brother of Edmund Gurney the psychic researcher. His father having died in 1862, the five children were brought up by Russell and Emelia Gurney, their uncle and aunt.[1][2]

Gurney was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, matriculating there in 1862, and graduating B.A. in 1866, M.A. in 1869. He entered the Inner Temple in 1867.[3][4]

Curate[edit]

Changing career, Gurney went into the church. Richard William Randall at All Saints, Clifton offered him a chance 1872 to be ordained and become his curate. This was a false start, because Charles Ellicott as bishop refused to ordain Gurney, citing Randall's ritualism.[5] Gurney then became curate to Arthur Wagner; in 1877 he was assistant curate at St Bartholomew's Church, Brighton.[6][7] At this period of his life he met Ellen Beardsley, mother of Aubrey Beardsley; whom he later encouraged as an artist.[8]

Vicar of Pimlico[edit]

St Barnabas Church interior, Pimlico, London

Gurney was from 1879 vicar of St Barnabas, Pimlico, in London—an 1850 church associated with the Oxford Movement—and became known for religious verse.[9][10] He formed what has been called a "Catholic-minded community" around the church.[11]

Bringing in church music, Gurney formed a choir under Thomas Helmore. George Herbert Palmer was organist. Services used incense.[12]

During the 1890s Gurney had the original decoration of St Barnabas, by Thomas Cundy, elaborated by George Frederick Bodley. Glass by Charles Kempe and Ninian Comper was introduced, replacing that by William Wailes.[13]

Interests and connections[edit]

From 1882 Gurney was corresponding with Christina Rossetti.[14] She became his friend and occasional visitor.[15] He gave a lecture on her late brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1883 at Somerville College, Oxford, and wrote a work of criticism, A Dream of Fair Women.[16]

Adoramus Te, 1892 drawing by Aubrey Beardsley, owned by Alfred Gurney. Beardsley was commissiones to make Christmas cards for Gurney, in the style of Edward Burne-Jones.[17]

Gurney was a Wagnerian, who wrote on Parsifal. In 1889 he travelled to Bayreuth to hear it performed, with his aunt Emilia Russell Gurney.[18] She was a prominent member of the "Cowper-Temple circle", a loose evangelical and ecumenical Christian group around William Cowper-Temple, 1st Baron Mount Temple and his wife Georgiana, attending their "Broadlands conferences" from 1874 to 1888; and also a founder of the Kensington Society.[19][20] Alfred Gurney attended the 1876 Broadlands conference.[21] He has also been considered a follower of Andrew Jukes.[22]

In 1891 Gurney encouraged the young, ailing Aubrey Beardsley, who was now working in London, to go into illustration; he was then supported by friends such as Aymer Vallance.[23] In 1897 Gurney was the dedicatee of Hymns and Carols for Christmas-tide by George Ratcliffe Woodward.[24]

Death[edit]

Gurney died in Roehampton, in 1898.[25]

Works[edit]

Illustration from A Christmas Faggot (1884)
  • Verses (1870)[26]
  • The Vision of the Eucharist, and other poems (1882)[27]
  • A Dream of Fair Women, a Study of some Pictures by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1883).[28]
  • A Christmas Faggot (1884)[29]
  • Parsifal: A Festival Play by Richard Wagner: a Study (1888)[30]
  • Our Catholic Inheritance in the Larger Hope: An Essay (1888)[31]
  • Voices from the Holy Sepulchre and other poems (1889)[27]
  • George Chapman. A Narrative of a Devoted Life (1893), editor[32][33]
  • Day-dreams (1896)[27]
  • Love's Fruition (1897)[27]
  • Amor Ordinatus. Essays and Addresses (1905)[34]

As a critic, Gurney was noted for religious interpretation of works that went further than the authors' intentions.[9][35][36]

Family[edit]

In 1866 Gurney married Alice Blanche Gibbs, daughter of William Gibbs, and they had two sons, Cyril, and William Hampden.[28][37][38] Alice died in 1871.[39]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Morse, Elizabeth J. Morse. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/56343.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Lesley Higgins (27 August 2015). The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins: Diaries, Journals, and Notebooks. Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-19-953400-5. 
  3. ^ s:Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886/Gurney, Alfred
  4. ^ Gordon Epperson (1 January 1997). The Mind of Edmund Gurney. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-8386-3720-3. 
  5. ^ John Fetherstonhough Briscoe; Henry Falconar Barclay Mackay (1932). A Tractarian at Work: A Memoir of Dean Randall. Mowbray. p. 143. 
  6. ^ Brocard Sewell (1983). In the Dorian Mode: A Life of John Gray, 1866–1934. Tabb House. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-907018-18-6. 
  7. ^ The Church Union Gazette. English Church Union. 1877. p. 173. 
  8. ^ Peter Raby (1998). Aubrey Beardsley and the Nineties. Collins & Brown. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-85585-611-0. 
  9. ^ a b Anne Dzamba Sessa (1979). Richard Wagner and the English. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. pp. 124–5. ISBN 978-0-8386-2055-7. 
  10. ^ "St. Barnabas Church, St. Barnabas Street, Pimlico — the first Tractarian church". Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Chris Snodgrass (1995). Aubrey Beardsley: Dandy of the Grotesque. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-19-509062-8. 
  12. ^ Chris Snodgrass (1995). Aubrey Beardsley: Dandy of the Grotesque. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-19-509062-8. 
  13. ^ University of London Dominic Janes Lecturer in Art History Birkbeck College (11 March 2009). Victorian Reformation: The Fight Over Idolatry in the Church of England, 1840-1860. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-19-970283-1. 
  14. ^ Christina Rossetti. Christina Rossetti. Ardent Media. p. 120. GGKEY:J92Y5LQ78K4. 
  15. ^ Christina Georgina Rossetti (1997). The Letters of Christina Rossetti: 1882-1886. University Press of Virginia. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-8139-1929-4. 
  16. ^ Christina Georgina Rossetti (1997). The Letters of Christina Rossetti: 1882-1886. University Press of Virginia. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-8139-1929-4. 
  17. ^ Chris Snodgrass (1995). Aubrey Beardsley: Dandy of the Grotesque. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. pp. 109–10. ISBN 978-0-19-509062-8. 
  18. ^ Letters of Emilia Russell Gurney. 1902. p. 212. 
  19. ^ Susan Petrilli (2009). Signifying and Understanding: Reading the Works of Victoria Welby and the Signific Movement. Walter de Gruyter. p. 143 note 7. ISBN 978-3-11-021850-3. 
  20. ^ Morse, Elizabeth J. "Gurney, Emilia Russell". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/56343.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  21. ^ James Gregory (30 November 2009). Reformers, Patrons and Philanthropists: The Cowper-temples and High Politics in Victorian England. I.B.Tauris. p. 324 note 158. ISBN 978-0-85771-625-5. 
  22. ^ Russell, George William Erskine (1903). "The Household of Faith; portraits and essays". Internet Archive. London: Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 213–4. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  23. ^ Macfall, Haldane (1911). "A History of Painting". Boston: Dana Estes & Co. p. 261. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  24. ^ Giles, Gordon. "Woodward, George Ratcliffe". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/76311.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  25. ^ Malcolm Easton (1972). Aubrey and the Dying Lady: a Beardsley riddle. Secker and Warburg. p. 159. 
  26. ^ Alfred Gurney (1870). Verses. W. H. Hodge. 
  27. ^ a b c d "Alfred Gurney (Gurney, Alfred, 1845-1898), The Online Books Page". Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "Alfred Gurney, ??-1900/1901, The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler :: Biography". Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  29. ^ s:A Christmas Faggot
  30. ^ Alfred Gurney (1888). Parsifal: A Festival Play by Richard Wagner: a Study. Kegan Paul, Trench, Company. 
  31. ^ Alfred Gurney (1888). Our Catholic Inheritance in the Larger Hope: An Essay. K. Paul, Trench. 
  32. ^ R. S.; Alfred Gurney (1893). George Chapman. A Narrative of a Devoted Life. 
  33. ^ Wakeling, George (1895). "The Oxford Church Movement: sketches and recollections". Internet Archive. London: S. Sonnenschein. p. 234. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  34. ^ Amor Ordinatus. Essays and Addresses. By the Late Alfred Gurney ... Edited by His Sister, with the Help of H. H. Jeaffreson. London. 1905. 
  35. ^ Andrea Rose (1901). The Germ: Literary Magazine of the Pre-Raphaelites. Ashmolean Museum. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-85444-024-2. 
  36. ^ "Seeing the Sacred: Burne-Jones's Reception as a 'Great Religious Painter'". Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  37. ^ Sir Bernard Burke (1871). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. Harrison. p. 499. 
  38. ^ Bernard Burke. A genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. Рипол Классик. p. 636. ISBN 978-5-88372-227-0. 
  39. ^ "Alice Blanche Gibbs, Mrs Alfred Gurney (1843–1871) and her Child 13883, National Trust Collections". Retrieved 17 December 2015.