Marston, John Westland and Philip Bourke

(1819-1890)
   • John, the father, 1819-1890
   Born at Boston, Lincolnshire, the son of a Baptist minister, his interest in literature took him away from his career in law. Interested in mysticism, he became editor of The Psyche magazine. He received the degree of doctor of laws from Glasgow University in 1863. In 1887 the actor Sir Henry Irving organized a benefit performance of Lord Byron's tragedy Werner (1822) for Marston at the Lyceum Theatre, London. He was buried with his wife and children in Highgate cemetery, London. His first play, the Patrician's Daughter (performed in 1842, with a prologue by Charles Dickens), is the idealization of his wife, whom he married in 1840. He contributed nearly 400 items to the Athenaeum magazine. Some of his other publications: Gerald, a Dramatic Poem, and Other Poems, 1842. Strathmore, 1849. Philip of France, 1850. Anne Blake, 1852. A Life's Ransom, 1857. A Hard Struggle, 1858. Some of his poems: "A Child in Heaven," "England, Written at the Time of the Revolt in India," "For a Silver Wedding," "Scenes in Normandy," "The Death-Ride, A Tale of the Light Brigade."
   • Philip, the son, 1850-1887
   His godparents were Philip James Bailey and Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (see entries), and to him his godmother addressed her poem "Philip, My King." His later poetry is marked by deep sadness brought about by multiple bereavements, yet he retained the ability to paint word pictures that transport the reader into the world of trees waving in the wind, the setting sun, and the warmth of the fire in the hearth. His numerous short stories were collected by William Sharp in For a Song's Sake and Other Stories (1887). Louise Chandler Moulton, the American poet, published two collections of Philip's poems: Garden Secrets (1887) and A Last Harvest (1891). Philip suffered from poor eyesight and by 1878 he was almost totally blind. Father and son had a close relationship and it was while they were on holiday that Philip suffered from some sort of stroke and died. Some of his other publications: Song-Tide and Other Poems, 1871. All in All, 1875. Wind Voices, 1883. Some of his poems: "After," "A July Day," "After Summer," "At the Last," "If You Were Here," "Parted Lovers," "Wedded Memories."
   Sources: Athenaeum Index: Contributor Record (http://web.soi.city.ac.uk/Marston, John Westland and Philip Bourkeasp/v2/contributors/contributorfiles/ MARSTON, JohnWestland.html). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). The Best Loved Poems of the American People. Hazel Felleman, ed. Doubleday, 1936. The Collected Poems of Philip Bourke Marston. Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton. Ward, Lock, Bowden and Co. 1892. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Dramatic and Poetical Works of Westland Marston. Chatto and Windus, 1876. The Home Book of Verse. Burton Egbert Stevenson, ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1953. The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse. Christopher Ricks, ed. Oxford University Press, 1987. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Through the Year with the Poets. Oscar Fay Adams, ed. D. Lothrop and Company, 1886.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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