Date 1877-01-20
Publication Academy
Topic WMR reviews Castelar's "Byron & Sketches"
AP display
RA display
Subject literature
Keywords Castelar
  ↳ Byron sketch
  ↳ others
Standards English writing standard
  ↳ facts
Notes Errors
  ↳ no translator could make this read English.

Annotation details

77 January 20 Academy


WMR reviews Castelar's "Byron and other Sketches."


Rossetti, William M. "The Life of Lord Byron, and Other Sketches." Academy (January 20, 1877): 47. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti points out that this book, translated from Spanish by Mrs. Arthur Arnold, "is the sort of book which an Englishman, a compatriot of the poet commemorated, could not and would not have written and will not read." Nonetheless, Rossetti finds Castelar's very non-English approach to Byron to be uniquely illuminating, being stripped of "national and temporary peculiarities." He finds Castelar's lofty allusions to Greek god status overdone, yet he finds interesting the foreigner's appraisal of Bryon in terms and consideration independent of shared nationality as would be produced by an Englishman.

Rossetti finds many mistakes in the facts as related by Castellar, many of them both elementary and egregious. Rossetti makes it clear that the translation was sound, but there's no way for the translator to make it "read tolerably English." He points out further errors of fact and history with Castelar's sketches of Hugo, Shelley, Dumas and others.

Rossetti notes that Castelar's reference to Shelley is "of a rather naive kind."




Castelar, Byron and sketches

Standards of Judgment:

English standards of writing and history

Rhetoric and tone:



Castelar, Arnold, Byron, Shelley, Hugo