Uvedale Price

Uvedale Price (1747–1829)

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 1, 301.

This classical scholar, a member of the English aristocracy and longtime friend of the Moulton-Barretts, was born in 1747. The family estate was Foxley, near Hereford. Besides classical studies in Greek and Latin, and Italian poetry, his interests included music and landscape gardening. The poet Wordsworth is mentioned as a visitor at his home. He published An Essay on the Picturesque in 1794, arguing in favour of natural beauty in landscaping as opposed to the formal and artificial. He became interested in EBB and her work when she published An Essay on Mind in 1826. This interest led to an intensive correspondence between the two, mostly concerning accent, metre, and the pronunciation of classical languages. He wrote a book on this subject, published in 1827, entitled An Essay on the Modern Pronunciation of the Greek and Latin Languages. EBB helped him with the proof sheets of this work and he incorporated many of her comments and suggestions in the final text. In 1826 and early 1827, EBB struggled with a long poem, “The Development of Genius” (see Reconstruction, D731). She showed it to her father in early February 1827 and he ridiculed it (see Appendix III, item 4), but Price encouraged her. However, it was not published in her lifetime. Price was married to Lady Caroline (née Carpenter, 1754–1826). They had two children, Caroline and Robert. The latter served in Parliament 1818–41 and 1845–56. Uvedale Price received a baronetcy on 12 February 1828. EBB obviously knew of this honour in advance and mentioned it in a letter to Hugh Stuart Boyd dated 24 December 1827 (letter 282). Sir Uvedale died at Foxley on 14 September 1829. He was eulogized in a poem by EBB entitled “To the Memory of Sir Uvedale Price, Bart.” ( Reconstruction, D1046).

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