A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Smith, Alexander

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Smith, Alexander (1830-1867). -- Poet and essayist, s. of a Paisley pattern-designer, at first followed the same occupation in Glasgow, but having become known as a poet of promise was, in 1854, appointed Sec. of Edin. Univ. After contributing to the Glasgow Citizen he pub. A Life Drama (1853), which received much admiration. Thereafter appeared War Sonnets (in conjunction, with S. Dobell, q.v.), City Poems (1857), and Edwin of Deira (1861). In prose he wrote Dreamthorpe (essays), A Summer in Skye, and two novels, Alfred Hagart's Household and Miss Dona M'Quarrie. His poems were in a rich and glowing style, but by some good judges were held to show fancy rather than imagination. He belonged to what was called the "spasmodic" school of poetry.