See biography by M. Peters (1972).
"Sailing beyond Seas" and "When Sparrows build in Supper at the Mill" were among the most popular songs of the day; but they share, with the rest of her work, the faults of affectation and stilted phraseology.
Her best-known poem was the "High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire". The blemishes of her style were cleverly indicated in a well-known parody by Charles Stuart Calverley; a false archaism and a deliberate assumption of unfamiliar and unnecessary synonyms for simple objects were among the worst of her mannerisms. Postmodern novelist Gilbert Sorrentino, in his satirical novel Blue Pastoral (1983), lampooned her "Supper at the Mill," a poem cast in the form of a dramatic vignette, as "Supper at the Kind Brown Mill."
She wrote, however, with a sweetness of sentiment, and in prose she displayed feeling for character and the gift of narrative; a delicate underlying tenderness is never wanting in either medium. She was a woman of frank and hospitable manners, with a look of the Lady Bountiful of a country parish. She had nothing of the professional authoress or the literary lady about her, and, as with characteristic simplicity she was accustomed to say, was no great reader. Her temperament was rather that of the improvisatore than of the professional author or artist.
Ingelow died in 1897 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.
Biblical Criticism and Secular Sex: Elizabeth Barrett's A Drama of Exile and Jean Ingelow's A Story of Doom
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