Date 1872-04-15
Publication Academy
Topic WMR review of J.Murray's translation of Elze's Byron
AP display
RA display
Subject literature
Keywords accuracy
  ↳ translation
  ↳ fact
  ↳ documents
Standards accuracy
  ↳ facts
  ↳ fairness
  ↳ translation

Annotation details

72 April 15 Academy


Review of John Murray's translation of Elze's Byron.


Rossetti, William M. "Lord Byron." Academy 3 (April 15, 1872): 141. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti reviews John Murray's translation of Karl Elze's biography of Lord Byron (Lord Byron: a biography, with a Critical Essay on his Place in Literature, by Karl Elze. Translated with the Author's sanction, and edited with Notes). Rossetti's focus is largely on Murray's translation and what Rossetti sees as unfairness in the process, plus some commentary on Elze's biases. Finally, Rossetti considers both the translation and Elze's original text in the context of historical facts surrounding some of the major controversies in Byron's life.

The historical facts Rossetti says that Elze overlooks include letters to and from Mrs. Stowe that bear on some controversial allegations against Bryon, and Rossetti finds that Elze simply omits historical points that are inconsonant with Elze's pro-Byron bias.

Rossetti points out what he sees as Murray's unfair translation of Elze, which according to Rossetti, includes deliberate omissions of key passages that would at least partially vindicate the German author. Also, Rossetti points out what he terms as Murray's unfair criticism of Edward John Trelawny, with whom Rossetti had an ongoing friendship and whom Rossetti felt was worthy of Shelley's admiration, and so should thus be worthy of Murray's as well.

Despite these shortcomings, Rossetti says readers should "thank the editor heartily" for the excellent translation.

There is a qualitative observation by Rossetti that Elze's work itself and the positive reception of Byron's work in Germany reinforces the importance of Byron as a literary figure, which, Rossetti observes, seems not to be so recognized in England.

Rossetti had a longstanding relationship with Murray, who edited Academy from 1869-1870 (240), and made plans to co-write an article on Dante Rossetti (440n).


evaluative, comparative, critical, historical


analysis, comparison, validation, critique, Byron scholarship, imputed "calumny", interpretation

Standards of Judgment:

historical data, translation convention, fairness, probable conclusions


Von Karl Elze, John Murray, Mrs. Stowe, Dr. Lushington, Sir Samuel Romilly, Leigh Hunt

Writing technique/tone:

deliberate, constructive, evaluative


". . . the warp of this woof may turn out to be mere feminine gossip;"

Works Cited

Rossetti, William Michael. Selected Letters of William Michael Rossetti. Ed. Roger Peattie. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1990. Print.