Poems and Ballads
Special Collections PR5505 1866
London: John Camden Hotten
Over the years, the English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909) has gained a reputation for having produced fine metred verse. His life, however, courted controversy and scandal. He was suspended from College (Balliol, Oxford) and seemingly led a life of vice; he liked being flogged. He wrote about topics such as lesbianism, cannibalism, and sado-masochism, and was pigeon-holed into the ‘decadent school’. Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads (1866) was his first collection of work and it contains elements of the above topics. It was popular and controversial. For some reason, Fels collected Swinburne first editions, owning some 18 titles. The plain unpretentious book label in this first Hotten edition records Fels’s gift to the University Library.
Algernon Charles Swinburne, “Poems and Ballads,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed October 2, 2022, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/11178.