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Smith, Horace

Entry updated 10 October 2022. Tagged: Author.

Working name of UK stockbroker, playwright, parodist, poet and author Horatio Smith (1779-1849), whose novels of contemporary manners began to appear in 1800. "On a Stupendous Leg of Granite ..." (25 January 1818 The Examiner), a poem written in friendly competition with Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias" (11 January 1818 The Examiner) (see Ruins and Futurity), was collected in Amarynthus the Nympholept: A Pastoral Drama, in Three Acts: With Other Poems (coll 1821); the title drama of this volume, a Fantasy play evoking classical figures, presents to some Satirical effect the portrait of a Romantic figure possessed (it seems) by a nymph, loosening Eros within him. Of Smith's several volumes of Parodies and other sketches, The Midsummer Medley for 1830: A Series of Comic Tales, Sketches and Fugitive Vagaries, in Prose and Verse (coll 1830 2vols) contains some material that edges into sf terrain, including a spacegoing Fantastic Voyage tale, though the interplanetary traveller who makes the trip voyages on Pegasus. The novella-length "Mesmerism: A Mystery" in Love; And Mesmerism (coll 1845 3vols) (see Hypnosis) describes failed attempts to "cure" a young woman who shows evidence of what might later be described as Psi Powers. [JC]

Horatio Smith

born London: 31 December 1779

died Tunbridge Wells, Kent: 12 July 1849



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