CHARLES BUCKE (1781–1846)

For this criticism [Bucke had praised Ann Radcliffe very highly in the 1821 edition of his book] Mrs Ratcliffe was pleased to send me her thanks. Sometime after, I was invited to supper. Her conversation was delightful! She sung Adeste Fideles with a voice mellow and melodious, but somewhat tremulous. Her countenance indicated melancholy. She had been, doubtless, in her youth, beautiful. She was a great admirer of Schiller’s Robbers. Her favourite tragedy was Macbeth. Her favourite painters were, Salvator, Claude, and Gaspar Poussin: her favourite poets, after Shakespeare, Tasso, Spenser, and Milton.
          There was, for many years, a report that this accomplished lady was afflicted with insanity. How the report came to be raised I know not; but, I believe, it never was the case. She had not only an elegant taste, but a comprehensive understanding. She died in 1823; and was buried in the chapel of ease, (belonging to the parish of St. George, Hanover Square,) at Bayswater.
          I have read her Romance of the Forest four times; her Italian five times; her Mysteries of Udolpho nine times; and my imagination is, even now, always charmed whenever I think of either.

[SOURCE: Charles Bucke, On the Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature, New Edition, 3 vols (London: Thomas Tegg and Son, 1837), vol. 2, p. 123]

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