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Gerald Massey.
A carte-de-visite by
Henry Y. Porter & S. B. Heald, Boston, USA
.

Gold, art thou not a blessèd thing, a charm above
            all other,
To shut up hearts to Nature's cry, when brother
            pleads with brother?
Hast thou a music sweeter than the voice of
            loving-kindness?
No! curse thee, thou'rt a mist 'twixt God and men
            in outer blindness.
'Father, come back!' my Children cry; their
            voices, once so sweet,
Now pierce and quiver in my heart!  I cannot,
            dare not meet
The looks that make the brain go mad, for dear
            ones asking bread—
God of the Wretched, hear my prayer: I would
            that I were dead!

From... A Cry of the Unemployed

 

――――♦――――

SHELLEY AND HIS POETRY

attributable to Gerald Massey.


'He was treated as a Reprobate, cast forth as a Criminal!  The cause was, he believed his Opinions true, and, he loved Truth, with a Martyr's love; this Sacrifice, was demanded of a Youth 17 years of Age! and he shrank not from it, but pafs'd the ordeal nobly....'

This article, taken from an 1848 issue of a circulating manuscript newspaper, The Attempt, is Massey's earliest known writing in prose.

――――♦――――

Extracts from the Uxbridge Pioneer

No. 1, February 1849,

both written and attributable to Gerald Massey.

'The Spirit of Freedom, and Working Man's Vindicator. Conducted by WORKING MEN.  This monthly Penny periodicalformerly a weeklyprinted at Uxbridge,is already widely known among working men.  Its editor is Gerald Massey, a young man of very high poetic talent, and a frequent contributor to Cooper's Journal.  John Rymill of Northampton, another earnest hearted working-man, is one of its essayists; and the band of fervent-minded young men, who are thus putting forth their burning thoughts to the masses, cannot fail to be felt, and to produce stirring effects in the Future. Periodicals like these are among the most notable 'Signs of the Times.'  There is, surely, hope for England, while her toiling children are breathing out these unmistakeable syllables of their aspirations. By every association of workingmen for mutual instruction this periodical ought to be purchased.' [From Cooper's Journal, March 2nd, 1850.]

――――♦――――

  THE RED REPUBLICAN

&

THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE

EQUALITY, LIBERTY, FRATERNITY

EDITED BY G. JULIAN HARNEY.

1850.

――――♦――――

COOPER'S JOURNAL:

OR, UNFETTERED THINKER AND PLAIN SPEAKER FOR
TRUTH, FREEDOM, AND PROGRESS.

(February 23, 1850)

SIGNS OF PROGRESS

Effusive rhetoric from the twenty two-year old Massey on 'machinery and capital' crushing the masses, some half a century before the birth of the British Labour Party.

――――♦――――

THE CHRISTIAN SOCIALIST.
3 May, 1851.

THE BROTHERHOOD OF LABOUR


'Thou shouldst be doing something, for the world, the good and glorious world!  For thee she clothes herself like a bride, in the garniture of spring's loveliness! and for thee the flowers start up at our feet, smiling into our eyes as meaningly as though they knew we ought to have happy hearts and cheerful countenances!

Young Massey in lyrical mode, encouraging those who, in truth, were probably far beyond encouragement.

――――♦――――

THE CHRISTIAN SOCIALIST.
August - September 1851.

TENNYSON AND HIS POETRY


Massey's belief expressed in this, among his earliest literary essays, is that....'The Muse of Tennyson is truly a 'dainty Ariel.'  She does not startle, or astound, but like the invisible spirit, waylays, bewilders, and enchants you.  The subtle spirit of her magic melody, and the power of her exceeding beauty, have permeated you through and through, ere you are aware, and, scarcely knowing why, you come most naturally to the conclusion that Tennyson is the greatest, the sweetest, and the perfectest of our living singers.'

――――♦――――

THE CHRISTIAN SOCIALIST.
September - November 1851.

TENNYSON'S PRINCESS


'After reading the 'Princess' again and again, one is surprised at what they missed on reading it the first time.....Read it again, it was your carelessness and opaqueness, not the poet's want of light and lustre.  It was your blindness, and deafness, not his lack of divine wisdom, and melody.'

――――♦――――

THE FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE.
Final editions, published during 1852.

EARLY, SHORT LITERARY ESSAYS, BOOK REVIEWS AND ARTICLES ON
MILTON, WORDSWORTH, TENNYSON, POE AND OTHERS.


'Properly speaking, there is no life of Milton at all worthy of the name; there have been many inadequate attempts, principally by his enemies, who have each flung a stone upon the place where he lies, until it has become a cairn, and that which was intended to obliterate, has become his monument......We cannot be Milton, my brothers, but we may strive to imitate his devotedness, his earnestness, manliness, purity, and patriotism; and there is none so mean and humble but may do something to hasten on the time of which we dream, that shall crown long years of blood, and tears, and misery, and degradation, when the poor man's heart shall leap for gladness, and the desert of his life shall blossom as the rose.'

――――♦――――

NORTHERN TRIBUNE
[Vol. I, No. 12, 1854]

MAZZINI AND ITALY


'Mazzini is one of the few unsuccessful great men that are not used up and killed out by defeat. It is difficult for the world to see the hero in the unsuccessful man. But Mazzini has stamped his impression upon it as indelibly as the image of a king upon the coinage from his mint....'

――――♦――――

HOGG'S INSTRUCTOR
[Vol. IV. 1855]

THOMAS HOOD, POET AND PUNSTER

'In the sunshine of spirit which he calls forth, he sets his tears
as very jewels of wit.'

――――♦――――

HOGG'S INSTRUCTOR
[Vol. V. 1855]

THE POETRY OF ALFRED TENNYSON


'.....it is the voice of Tennyson we hear soaring triumphantly above the long agony of doubt, soothing as that of a sister leading the bewildered mind out of the burning trance of delirium.'

――――♦――――

NORTH BRITISH REVIEW
[Vol. 28, February 1858]

POETRY—THE SPASMODISTS


'It appears to us that Robert Browning is, in a sense, one of the greatest spasmodists, so far as a wilful delight in remote and involved thinking, abrupt and jerking mental movements, and 'pernickitieness' of expression, working, in the higher regions of genius, can constitute a spasmodist.'

――――♦――――

NORTH BRITISH REVIEW
[Vol. 33, Nov 1860]

AMERICAN HUMOUR


'One man will be struck with the difference between things as they are, and as they ought to be, or might be.  It fills his spirit with sadness.  Another cannot help laughing at many of their incongruities.  But the man who can laugh as well as weep is most a man.  The greatest humorists have often been also the most serious seers, and men of most earnest heart.  Hence their humour passes into pathos at their will.'

――――♦――――

NORTH BRITISH REVIEW
[Vol. 34, May 1861]

THE POEMS AND PLAYS OF
ROBERT BROWNING


'No other living poet has sounded such depths of human feeling, or can smite the soul with such a rush of kindling energy.  Great and lofty and deep as Tennyson is, he has no such range.'........'It seems to us that Mr Browning has narrowly missed being the greatest poet living.  But he has missed it, and Tennyson is crowned instead.  Mr Browning has the wider range, and grasps more, but he brings less home to us.'

――――♦――――

NORTH BRITISH REVIEW
[Vol. 35, November 1861]

POETS AND POETRY OF YOUNG IRELAND


'One would think that there was also a defect in the Irish mind which incapacitates it for taking a real possession of the present, and working out of the present a better future.......It turns to some far past, and its poets sing of the bygone days, as though they belonged to a race which has a splendid past, but a hopeless future.  Their true possessions appear to remain in a far-off land that lies near the dawn, and is only visible in all its glory when looked at across a sea of tears.'

――――♦――――

NORTH BRITISH REVIEW
[VOL. 36, MAY 1862]

THE POEMS AND OTHER WORKS OF
MRS BROWNING


'On, on she goes, with great bursts of feeling and gushes of thought, that follow one another with a spontaneity that is always surprising, often startling, and sometimes savage.'.......'One thing we have to acknowledge, here as elsewhere, is the courage with which she never hesitates to lift up her voice for what she considers the right.'

――――♦――――

QUARTERLY REVIEW 
[Vol. 114, April 1863]

LIFE AND WRITINGS OF THOMAS HOOD.


'It is a very noticeable feature in Hood's character that, with even worse health than Pope's, he was of a most sweet temper; and no amount of pain and buffeting could turn him into one of the wasps of wit.'

――――♦――――

NORTH BRITISH REVIEW
[Vol. 39, August 1863]

THOMAS DE QUINCEY—GRAVE AND GAY.


'.....De Quincey knows the lie that is trying to pass muster for truth.  He has an eye almost Shakspearian for detecting the true features of a man who may stand afar off, half-hidden under the veil of distance.  He has a sure grasp of reality, and can estimate at their true value the glitter and graces, the tinsel and powder, and fluttering affectations of the 'teacup times.'''

――――♦――――

QUARTERLY REVIEW
[Vol. 115, January 1864]

NEW ENGLANDERS AND THE OLD HOME.


'
Most people have noticed how Nature, at certain whimsical moments, will mould human faces, features, expressions, so queerly comical and quaintly absurd that all the attempts of caricature fail to match them.  Leech, Doyle, and Cruikshank are outdone any day in the streets of London.''

――――♦――――

QUARTERLY REVIEW
[Vol. 115, April 1864]

SHAKSPEARE AND HIS SONNETS.


'It is demonstrable that the poet did not contemplate being known to the world as the writer of these Sonnets.  The work was a cherished love-secret on his part, all the dearer for the privacy.  He thought of doing it, and he believed it would live, and that his friend and all the love between them should live on in it, but he himself was to steal off unidentified.'

――――♦――――

THE QUARTERLY REVIEW
[VOLUME 118, July 1865.]

BROWNING'S POEMS.


'Mr. Browning's powers ought to be better understood than he is, and the discrepancy lessened betwixt what is known of him by the few, and what is thought of him by the many.  He has qualities such as should be cherished by the age we live in, for it needs them.  His poetry ought to be taken as a tonic.  He grinds no mere hand-organ or music-box of pretty tunes; he does not try to attract the multitude with the scarlet dazzle of poppies in his corn; he is not a poet of similes, who continually makes comparisons which are the mere play of fancy; he has nothing of the ordinary technique of poetry; he has felt himself driven, somewhat consciously, to the opposite course of using, as much as possible, the commonest forms of speech.'

――――♦――――

QUARTERLY REVIEW
[Vol. 122, January 1867]

YANKEE HUMOUR.


'Human nature in America is somewhat like the articles in a great exhibition, where the largest and loudest things first catch the eye and usurp the attention....' 
'.....there is among the Americans a stronger backing of sound sense, of clear seeing, and of right feeling, than we could have gathered any idea of from their political mouthpieces.'

――――♦――――

FRASER'S MAGAZINE
 (May 1867)

CHARLES LAMB


'...a mob of happy faces crowding up at the pit door of Drury Lane Theatre, just at the hour of six, gave him ten thousand sincerer pleasures than he could have received from all the flocks of silly sheep that ever whitened the plains of Arcadia...'

――――♦――――

HUMAN NATURE
[Vol. 5, August 1871]

An ADDRESS
.....presented by the Spiritualists of England to MRS. EMMA HARDINGE BRITTEN at her Farewell Conversazione, held in St. George's Hall, London, July 28, 1871.


'....you could not have won more golden opinions, made more real friendships, left behind more cherished recollections, or carried away with you more fervent blessings.  Thanks, and Farewell.'

――――♦――――

THE SPIRITUALIST NEWSPAPER
[June 1874]

ETERNAL PUNISHMENT AND ORTHODOX THEOLOGY


'What is there that men have not found compatible with mere belief?  Have they not cut each other's throats, believing it to be for the glory of God?  Have they not burned bodies by the thousand, believing it to be the surest way of saving souls from hell?  Why, men have believed that by standing on one leg for thirty years they would be permitted to hop into heaven at last.'

――――♦――――

LUCIFER
[Vol. I, November 1887]

BLOOD-COVENANTING


'The truth is that no bibliolator can be trusted to interpret the past of our race now being unveiled by evolution.  He is born and begotten with the blinkers on.  His mode of interpretation is to get behind us, to lay the hands upon our eyes in front, and ask us to listen whilst he gives us his views of the past!'

――――♦――――



AN INTRODUCTION
TO
GERALD MASSEY'S WORKS ON EVOLUTION


By Jon Lange.
―――♦―――



A B
OOK OF THE BEGINNINGS

Containing an attempt to recover and reconstitute
the lost origins of the myths and mysteries,
types and symbols, religion and language,
with Egypt for the mouthpiece and
Africa as the birthplace.


Courtesy of Jon Lange.
―――♦―――



T
HE NATURAL GENESIS

or second part of A BOOK OF THE BEGINNINGS,
containing an attempt to recover and reconstitute the lost origins
of the myths and mysteries, types and symbols, religion and language,
with Egypt for the mouthpiece and Africa as the birthplace.


Courtesy of Jon Lange.
―――♦―――



 A
NCIENT EGYPT: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

a work of reclamation and restitution in twelve books.

Courtesy of Jon Lange.
――――♦――――

NILE GENESIS:

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE OPUS OF GERALD MASSEY
by
CHARLES S. FINCH M.D.


'In contemporary times, Gerald Massey is primarily remembered for his poetry, literary criticism, and socialist politics all in the pursuit of which he applied his boundless energy.  But it is in his forays into human ‘typological’ beginnings, framed in the evolutionary perspective of Darwin and Wallace, and probed through the antiquarian medium of Egyptology and comparative mythology that Massey’s true genius is revealed.  To this effort – this opus – Massey dedicated the last 36 years of his life, resulting in three Herculean two-volume works which, as they find a slowly expanding readership, are permanently changing our perception of ancient history, human origins, and the primal place of Africa – Massey’s 'Old Dark Land' – in the evolution of human consciousness from its beginning.'

――――♦――――

THE EGYPTIAN ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY

by

R
ICHARD A. SATTLEBERG, B.A., F.T.S.


'The average Christian has probably never suspected that the Gospels he cherishes contain many points of similarity with ancient Egyptian teachings.  While it is true that the Gospels, and the Bible as a whole, has been subjected to close scrutiny by scholars for some time now, especially during the last hundred years, most of them have never even suggested that the Gospels may very well have been based on the Ritual of the 'Egyptian Book of the Dead'.'

――――♦――――

Gerald Massey's Lectures
[
1887]


'In presenting my readers with some of the data which show that much of the Christian History was pre-extant as Egyptian Mythology, I have to ask you to bear in mind that the facts, like other foundations, have been buried out of sight for thousands of years in a hieroglyphical language, that was never really read by Greek or Roman, and could not be read until the lost clue was discovered by Champollion, almost the other day! In this way the original sources of our Mytholatry and Christology remained as hidden as those of the Nile, until the century in which we live. The mystical matter enshrouded in this language was sacredly entrusted to the keeping of the buried dead, who have faithfully preserved it as their Book of Life, which was placed beneath their pillows, or clasped to their bosoms, in their coffins and their tombs.'

Note: the following lectures were published privately and sold separately by the author.  Paragraph numbers do not appear in the original editions, but are here inserted to assist with referencing.

――――♦――――

THE MEDIUM AND DAYBREAK

[April 15, 1887]

Simon of Samaria


'Simon of Samaria is a Gnostic friend of mine, in whom I feel a particular interest, as one of those who have suffered (if mind can consciously persist) for eighteen centuries from the falsehoods and forgeries that helped to establish the demoralizing delusion of Historic Christianity.  If I were a believer in the re-incarnation of individual personality, I might fancy that I am one of those same victims come back again consciously to aid in avenging the great wrongs we have sorely suffered for so long, like men made dumb through being buried alive.'

――――♦――――

THE MEDIUM AND DAYBREAK

[July 22, 1887]

Mr. Gerald Massey's reply to
Dr. A. R. Wallace


'It would be a serious error for any man of science even to use the language of ignorance concerning miracles, which the vulgar sense imply a supernatural interference with natural law.  But Mr. Wallace does more than that, in vouching for the biblical miracles being actual facts.'

――――♦――――

LUCIFER

[October, 1887]

Are the  Teachings Ascribed to Jesus Contradictory?


'. . . if the Christian scheme of damnation be true, as assigned to the teaching of Jesus, no humane person should want to know that there is any hereafter.'

――――♦――――

THE AGNOSTIC ANNUAL

[1888]

The Name and Nature of The Christ.


'Having stated in my lecture on 'The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ' that the Egyptian hieroglyphics were never read by the Greeks or Romans, I have been challenged to show how the Mythos, which was shrouded in a dead language, could, in its astronomical and mystical phases, have been reproduced in Greece and Rome if, as I have asserted, the Greeks and Romans did not read the hieroglyphics.......'

――――♦――――

The Secret Drama of Shakspeare's Sonnets

(1888 edition.)


'It must be borne in mind that we are endeavouring to decipher a secret history of an unexampled kind.  We can get little help except from the written words themselves.  We must rely implicitly on that inner light of the Sonnets, left like a lamp in a tomb of old, which will lead us with the greater certainty to the precise spot where we shall touch the secret spring and make clear the mystery.  We must ponder any the least minutiæ of thought, feeling, or expression, and not pass over one mote of meaning because we do not easily see its significance.  Some little thing that we cannot make fit with the old reading may be the key to the right interpretation.'


Shakespeare in Domestic Life


Ostensibly a review of 'Shakespeare’s Sonnets, never before Interpreted; His Private Friends Identified: together with a Recovered Likeness of Himself' (1866).  While the reviewer has comparatively little to say about Massey's first published volume of conjectures on the circumstances surrounding the Sonnets, the article provides an interesting Victorian view of Shakespeare's life and times.


A Short Critique of Gerald Massey’s work on Shakespeare's Sonnets
by Ernie Wingeatt
(December, 2008).


'. . . . what Massey’s research lacks is complete intellectual honesty and rigour.  This is emphasised when considering what Akrigg has to say at the end of his study of Shakespeare and Southampton where he touches precisely on the problems that a modern academic faces in achieving a truly objective account of what took place historically. He notes the need for caution by observing: “all those warning uses of ‘probably’, ‘apparently’, ‘might’ and ‘may’ which scholarly conscience requires” are what he as a scholar for a moment suspends in order to summarize the probable in terms of the relationship between the two men.

What should matter about Massey and his ideas on Shakespeare is that they be studied more for the worth of the understanding it gives to us of the age in which he [Massey] lived, its view of the world and how he [Massey] fits into that age, rather than for the work alone.  There is a rich seam of material here for the student of Victorian mores, the growth of English Literature as a subject for academic study and the working man’s part in those things. . . .'

――――♦――――

NATIONAL REVIEW
(October, 1888)

Myth and Totemism

as Primitive Modes of Representation.


together with

An Introduction

by Rey Bowen

reproduced with the author's kind permission.

Note: paragraph numbers did not appear in Massey's original essay.
They are here inserted to assist with referencing.

――――♦――――

My Lyrical Life: Explanatory

Poems Old and New
BY
GERALD MASSEY

London: 1889

'
....I saw myself described the other day as being the most unpublished of Living Authors.
There were reasons for this.  It happens that I have not hitherto had a Publisher...
'

 



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