cover of book

The Annotated Letters of Christopher Smart
edited by Betty Rizzo and Robert Mahony
Southern Illinois University Press, 1991
Cloth: 978-0-8093-1609-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-8278-1
Library of Congress Classification PR3687.S7Z48 1990
Dewey Decimal Classification 821.6


The only collection of all known letters of Christopher Smart provides the best psychological explanation to date of that complex and elusive eighteenth-century poet.

The significant characteristics that distinguish Smart’s prose letters from his poetry, Betty Rizzo and Robert Mahony note, are that his letters were requests for assistance while his verses were bequests, gifts in which he set great store. Indeed, it was Smart’s lifelong conviction that he was a poet of major importance.

As Smart biographer Karina Williamson notes, "The splendidly informative and vivaciously written accounts of the circumstances surrounding each letter, or group of letters, add up to what is in effect a miniature biography."

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