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Beschreibung des Verlags
In The Home Life of Swinburne (1922), Clara Watts-Dunton, widow of Swinburne's close friend and latter-day guardian Walter Theodore Watts-Dunton, details the domestic habits and routine of the poet as she observed them at The Pines, Putney, after her marriage in November 1905. Clara Watts-Dunton's biography is sometimes mocked for its banality, but nonetheless remains a valuable record of Swinburne's last years, providing useful information about his writing habits, friendships, literary and other tastes. Moreover, Clara's seemingly artless chatty style belies the fact that she was almost aware of certain chapters in the poet's private history--something she hints at obliquely in the following comment: When Swinburne first read Thackeray's The Newcomes is not clear. He was sixteen when the first monthly number of the novel came out in serial form in October 1853, with the last number appearing in August 1855. He was from a child a voracious reader and had already formed an enduring passion for Dickens whose novels were being published in serial form during his schooldays. (2) Swinburne's future friend, Edward Burne-Jones wrote an earnest essay on the The Newcomes in the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, the journal he founded with William Morris, which was published in January 1856, the month Swinburne entered Balliol College. Swinburne had certainly read the novel by February 25, 1860, because we find him alluding to one of its characters, Sir Barnes Newcome, in a letter to William Bell Scott (Letters, 1:32). Three years later he would meet Thackeray himself along with his two daughters during Easter (April) 1863, at Fryston, the home of Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton. Thackeray's daughter, the author Annie Thackeray Ritchie, who would remain a lifelong friend of Swinburne's, famously described her first impressions of the poet for his biographer Edmund Gosse, noting her father's sympathetic liking for the young man. (3) Unfortunately there was no chance for a deeper relationship to develop as Thackeray died on December 24 that same year.