ROBERT WILLIAMS BUCHANAN (1841 - 1901)

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POETRY

robwbuch

If Buchanan’s reputation is to be revived at all it is dependent on his poetry. Hailed as a genius by G. H. Lewes after the publication of Idyls and Legends of Inverburn, Buchanan’s status as a poet was assured in the early years but was then practically destroyed by the ‘Fleshly School’ scandal. However it could be argued that one effect of that episode was to remove poetry as a source of finance for Buchanan, so that his poetry (unlike his novels and plays) was not tainted by hackwork.

When I began this site in August 2002 it was not that easy to find any of Buchanan’s poems. Apart from the odd one in the occasional anthology his work had not been reprinted since his death in 1901 and there were only a few examples online. After borrowing the two volume Complete Poetical Works from the library, I skimmed through the thousand, double-columned pages and decided it would be best to just add a personal selection of some of the shorter poems to the site. Later, as the Buchanan bug well and truly bit, I decided to try and add all of his poems to the site, book by  book, but in a rather arbitrary fashion dependent on what I could afford to acquire from ebay and abebooks. In April 2007, I discovered that several of Buchanan’s works were now available on the Internet Archive in various formats. However, I decided to carry on with the original aim to get all of Buchanan’s poetry onto one site. In a way it is a rather redundant exercise, especially now (March 2014) when all but his first two books of poetry are available at the Internet Archive, but, in true Mastermind fashion, I had started, so I thought I might as well finish.

The books below are available to read online or to download in .rtf format, as is the original version of the sonnet sequence, ‘Faces on the Wall’, from The Saint Pauls Magazine. I have also retained my original selection of ‘the best of Buchanan’.

The Complete Poetical Works of 1901 does not contain every poem that Buchanan wrote. Omissions are noted in the books transferred to this site, but occasionally I come across poems which only appear to have been published in magazines, etc., so these have been placed in a separate section. There is also a list of all the poems on this site in alphabetical order.

Reviews of Buchanan’s poetry are available in the Reviews section and other assessments can be found in The Critical Response.

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UNDERTONES

London: Edward Moxon, 1863.
London: Alexander Strahan, 1865.
London: Chatto & Windus, 1883.

Download the zipped .rtf version

Undertones is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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IDYLS AND LEGENDS OF INVERBURN

London: Alexander Strahan, 1865.

Download the zipped .rtf version

Idyls and Legends of Inverburn is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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LONDON POEMS

London: Alexander Strahan, 1866
New York: Alexander Strahan, 1867
(With additional poems included in the ‘London Poems (1866-70)’ section of the The Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan. London: Chatto & Windus, 1884)

Download the zipped .rtf version

London Poems is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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BALLAD STORIES OF THE AFFECTIONS: from the Scandinavian

London: George Routledge & Sons, 1866 (illus.)
London: Sampson Low, Son, and Marston, 1869.
New York: Scribner, Welford and Co., 1869.

Download the zipped .rtf version

Ballad Stories of the Affections is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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NORTH COAST and other POEMS

London: George Routledge and Sons, 1867.
(With illustrations by J. Wolf, A.B. Houghton, W. Small, T. Dalziel, G.J. Pinwell, E. Dalziel and J.B. Zwecker. Engraved by the Brothers Dalziel.)

Download the zipped .rtf version

North Coast and other Poems is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE BOOK OF ORM

London: Strahan & Co., 1870
London: Chatto & Windus, 1882

Download the zipped .rtf version

The Book of Orm is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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NAPOLEON FALLEN: A Lyrical Drama

London: Strahan & Co., 1871

Download the zipped .rtf version

Napoleon Fallen is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE DRAMA OF KINGS

London: Strahan & Co., 1871

Download the zipped .rtf version

The Drama of Kings is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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SAINT ABE AND HIS SEVEN WIVES: A Tale of Salt Lake City

London: Strahan & Co., 1871
New York: George Routledge & Sons, 1872
Toronto: Adams, Stevenson & Co., 1872
London: Chatto & Windus, 1882
London: Robert Buchanan, 1896

Download the zipped .rtf version

Saint Abe and his Seven Wives is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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WHITE ROSE AND RED

London: Strahan & Co., 1873
Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co., 1873
London: Chatto & Windus, 1882

Download the zipped .rtf version

White Rose and Red is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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BALDER THE BEAUTIFUL: A Song of Divine Death

London: William Mullan and Son, 1877.

Download the zipped .rtf version

Balder the Beautiful is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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BALLADS OF LIFE, LOVE, AND HUMOUR

London: Chatto & Windus, 1882.

Download the zipped .rtf version

Ballads of Life, Love, and Humour is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE EARTHQUAKE

London: Chatto & Windus, 1885

Download the zipped .rtf version

The Earthquake is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE CITY OF DREAM

London: Chatto & Windus, 1888

Download the zipped .rtf version

The City of Dream is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE OUTCAST

London: Chatto & Windus, 1891
London: Robert Buchanan, 1896

Download the zipped .rtf version

The Outcast is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE WANDERING JEW

London: Chatto & Windus, 1893

Download the zipped .rtf version

The Wandering Jew is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

I’ve also included a section on the controversy which followed Richard Le Gallienne’s review of the poem in The Daily Chronicle:

‘Is Christianity Played Out?’ - The ‘Wandering Jew’ controversy.

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THE DEVIL’S CASE

London: Robert Buchanan, 1896

Download the zipped .rtf version

The Devil’s Case is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE BALLAD OF MARY THE MOTHER

London: Robert Buchanan, 1897

Download the zipped .rtf version

The Ballad of Mary the Mother is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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THE NEW ROME: Poems and Ballads of our Empire

London: Walter Scott, Ltd., 1898

Download the zipped .rtf version

The New Rome is also available to download in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive.

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COLLECTIONS

The various Collections and Selections of Buchanan’s poems are dealt with in this section.

1. Poems (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1866.)

2. The Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan (3 vols. London: Henry S. King & Co., 1874. Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1874.)
         Volume I: Ballads and Romances, Ballads and Poems of Life

         Volume II: Ballads and Poems of Life, Lyrical Poems etc.

         Volume III: Coruisken Sonnets, Book of Orm and Political Mystics

3. Selected Poems (London: Chatto & Windus, 1882.)

4. The Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan (London: Chatto & Windus, 1884.)

5. The Buchanan Ballads Old and New (London: John Haddon and Company, 1892.)

6. The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan (2 vols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1901.)

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FACES ON THE WALL

The Saint Pauls Magazine, May, 1872

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POEMS FROM OTHER SOURCES

Poems from magazines and newspapers which were not reprinted in Buchanan’s books.

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SELECTED POEMS

A selection of some of the shorter poems of Buchanan which originally piqued my interest.

Download the zipped .rtf version

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ALPHABETICAL LIST OF POEMS ON THIS SITE

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REVIEWS

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Books of Poetry:

Poems & Love Lyrics. Glasgow: Thomas Murray and Son. 1857. [reviews]

Mary, and other Poems. Glasgow. 1859. [reviews]

Undertones. London: E. Moxon, 1863. (available on this site) [reviews]

Idyls and Legends of Inverburn. London: Alexander Strahan, 1865. (available on this site) [reviews]

London Poems. London: Alexander Strahan, 1866. (available on this site) [reviews]

Ballad Stories of the Affections: from the Scandinavian. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1866. (available on this site) [reviews]

North Coast and Other Poems. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1867. (available on this site) [reviews]

The Book of Orm: a prelude to the epic. London: Strahan & Co., 1870. (available on this site) [reviews]

Napoleon Fallen: a lyrical drama. London: Strahan & Co., 1871. (available on this site) [reviews]

The Drama of Kings. London: Strahan & Co., 1871. (available on this site) [reviews]

Saint Abe and His Seven Wives: a Tale of Salt Lake City. London: Strahan & Co., 1871. (available on this site)  [reviews]

White Rose and Red. a love story. London: Strahan & Co., 1873. (available on this site) [reviews]

Balder the Beautiful: a song of divine death. London: William Mullan and Son, 1877. (available on this site) [reviews]

Selected Poems. London: Chatto & Windus, 1882. (available at the Internet Archive) [more information] [reviews]

Ballads of Life, Love, and Humour. London: Chatto & Windus, 1882. (available on this site) [reviews]

The Earthquake: or Six days and a Sabbath. London: Chatto & Windus, 1885. (available on this site) [reviews]

The City of Dream. London: Chatto & Windus, 1888. (available on this site) [reviews]

The Outcast: a rhyme for the time. London: Chatto & Windus, 1891. (available on this site) [reviews]

The Buchanan Ballads Old and New. London: John Haddon and Company, 1892. (available at the Internet Archive)  [more information] [reviews]

The Wandering Jew: a Christmas carol. London: Chatto & Windus, 1893. (available on this site) [reviews]

The Devil’s Case: a bank holiday interlude. London: Robert Buchanan, 1896. (available on this site) [reviews]

The Ballad of Mary the Mother: a Christmas carol. London: Robert Buchanan, 1897. (available on this site)

The New Rome: poems and ballads of our empire. London: Walter Scott, Ltd., 1898. (available on this site) [reviews]

 

Collected Editions:

Poems. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1866. (available at the Internet Archive) [more information] [reviews]

The Poetical Works. 3 vols. London: H. S. King & Co., 1874. Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1874. (available at the Internet Archive: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3) [more information] [reviews]

The Poetical Works. 1 vol. London: Chatto & Windus, 1884. (Identical to Vol. 1 of the 1901 edition.) [more information] [reviews]

The Complete Poetical Works. 2 vols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1901. (available at the Internet Archive:
 Volume 1Volume 2) [more information] [reviews]

 

Miscellaneous:

Wayside Posies: original poems of the country life. Edited by R. Buchanan. London: G. Routledge & Sons, 1866. (available at the Internet Archive) [reviews]

The Poetical Works of H. W. Longfellow. Edited and prefaced by R. Buchanan. London: E. Moxon & Co., 1869. [reviews]

Hon. Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel: Poems of the Hon. Roden Noel. A selection. With an introduction by Robert Buchanan. London, New York: W. Scott, 1892. (available at the Internet Archive) [reviews]

 

Home
Biography
Bibliography

 

Poetry
Plays
Fiction

 

Essays
Reviews
Letters

 

The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law

 

The Critical Response
Harriett Jay
Miscellanea

 

Links
Site Diary
Site Search