A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Massey, Gerald

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Massey, Gerald (1828-1907). -- Poet, b. near Tring, Herts. As a boy he worked in a silk-factory, and as a straw-plaiter and errand boy. When he was 15 he came to London, where he was taken up by Maurice and Kingsley. His first book was pub. in 1851, but he first attracted attention by Babe Christabel (1854). This was followed by War Waits, Craigcrook Castle, and Havelock's March. A selection from these was pub. 1889, under the title of My Lyrical Life. Later he wrote and lectured on spiritualism, and produced prose works on the origin of myths and mysteries in The Book of Beginnings (1881), The Natural Genesis (1883), and Ancient Egypt: the Light of the World (1907). He also wrote a book on the sonnets of Shakespeare. M. had a true lyrical vein, but though often musical, page 263he was at times harsh and rugged, and did not give sufficient attention to form and finish.