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Verses and Translation  Charles Stuart Calverley
introduction  Oliver Seaman

Verses & Translations by Charles Stuart Claverley


Verses and Translation by Charles Stuart Calverley

with an introduction by Oliver Seaman


About the Book: 

45 light hearted verses by Charles Stuart Calverley, poet and parodist, often referred to as the father of wit and humorous poetry. He cherished the gift of humour rather than wit. And humour, with him, is a quality not only of his mind but of his literary style. Nowhere is this more apparent than is invention of the famous short line at the finish of a verse, a characteristic constantly reproduced by imitators with an incredibly poor understanding of climax or its opposite.  “Claverley’s extraordinary influence over the succeeding generation of writer of light verse is due , in part, to the classical training to which, like most of those who have excelled in his art, he owed his literary polish and refinement.”  

Genre:  Poetry

Book Type:Hardback published by The Gresham Publishing Company, 34 Southampton Street, Strand, London

Edition: Gresham edition c 1910. The first edition being published in 1862.

Size: 16cm x 10.5cm

Number of pages:  184 Pages

Illustrations: Frontispiece ‘Charles Stuart Calverley from an engraving by G. J. Stodart. The original is held by the National Portrait Gallery and can be bought as a print

Table of contents

45 poems

  • Visions
  • Gemini and Virgo
  • “There is a City”
  • Striking
  • Voices of the Night
  • Lines suggested by the Fourteenth of February
  • A,B,C
  • To Mrs Goodchild
  • Ode – “ On a Distant Prospect” of making a fortune
  • Isabel
  • Dirge
  • Lines suggested by the Fourteenth of February
  • “Hic Vir, Hic Est
  • Beer
  • Ode to Tobacco
  • Dover to Munich
  • To Miss E.C.
  • Charades
  • Proverbial Philosophy
  • Introductory
  • Of Propriety
  • Of Friendship
  • Of Reading
  • Carmen Saecculare
  • Translation
  • Lycidas
  • In Memoriam
  • Laure Matilda’s Dirge
  • “ Leaves have their Time to Fall
  • Let us Turn Hitherwood our Bark
  • To a Ship
  • To Virgil
  • To the Fountain of Bandusia
  • To Ilbycus’s Wife
  • Soracte
  • To Leuconoe
  • Juno’s Speech
  • To a Faun
  • To lyce
  • To his Slave
  • The Dead Ox
  • From Theocritus
  • Speech of Ajax
  • From Lucretius
  • From Homer


Biography of Author:

Charles Stuart Calverley was born in 1831. At the beginnings of the century his family had taken the name of Bladys, and it was not until 1852 that they resumed the name of Claverley, which had been theirs since the Norman conquest. He passed through Harrow to Oxford, where he won the Chancellor’s Prize for Hexameters. After a brief residence he was compelled to retire from Oxford, in consequence of disagreement with the Balliol dons, and he migrated to Christ’s College, Cambridge. Here he won the Craven Scholarship and several University Prizes. After coming out second in the first class of Classical Tripos, he remained for some time at Cambridge, doing work as a college fellow and private tutor. In 1865, three years after the appearance of “Verses and Translations”, and shortly after his marriage with a first cousin, he was called to the Bara at the Inner Temple. Eighteen months later an injury to his brain, caused by a fall upon ice, cut short the promise of a brilliant legal career. From this time, he lived in retirement till his death in 1884. “He recognised and he fulfilled the function of the poet, gay or grave – to take the common ore of universal thought, and transmute it, by the charm of fancy, to fine gold. Better work than tis no man need ask of any poet, grave or gay.”  (Owen Seaman)

 Calverley's "Ode to Tobacco" is immortalised on a plaque on the corner of Market Hill, Cambridge

  • Verses and Translations 1862
  • Translations into English and Latin 1866
  • Theocritus translated into English Verse 1869
  • Fly Leaves 1872
  • Literary Remains 1885
  • The Complete Works of C. S. Calverley (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1901), ed. by Walter Joseph Sendall (his brother-in-law)


Covers:  The green boards with gilt decorative motive have some signs of wear. Some scuffing to the extreme edges. Back cover has a small white mark on the back cover and similar age-related marks on the front of what are overall bright and clean boards.

Binding: Slight sloping.

Spine: Gilt decorative spine has some signs of wear, along the guttering and bottom and top edges of spine

Pages.  Pretty colour decorative front and rear paste-down end papers. Rear free end paper has a crease and small tear at the binding edge.  Blank free end paper has some discolouring as does the title page. All pages complete with hand cut edges.  Age toned pages at extreme edges. Few marks, foxing tears or creasing. Foxing to outer page edges.

A good copy of a rarer 100-year-old book. Books, pamphlets and magazines are pre-owned and pre-loved showing some signs of use. Photos are included to help you judge the condition.

Book Lovers Guides offers you a selection of rarer books, those increasingly difficult to find, with few or no copies available on the internet.  Books, pamphlets and magazines are pre-owned and pre-loved showing some signs of use. Photos are included to help you judge the condition.

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