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A lecture was delivered last night in the .Newton Congregational School-room, Edin-burgh-street, in aid of the new school fund, by Mr. J. Blackmail. Mr. Noah Wood occupied the chair, and having made a few introductory remarks on the progress of the Sunday-school, &c, introduced Mr. Blaekman, who proceeded with his lecture, entitled "My Recollections of Eliza Cook and her Poetry," in which he gave a description of the birthplace of the poetess, her early years in Southwavk, her life on the old farm in Sussex, with critical notices of her productions of the period. Her father was a tradesman in the London Road, and subsequently tried his hand on a little farm in bad times, where, among the fields, Eliza Cook gained her first impressions of the l>eautiful in nature which she cheerfully set to music and rhyme. Her subsequent career in London was rather minutely pictured ; the appearance of her poems in the Weekly Dispatch, and her singular introduction to Alderman Harracr—her first patron. Her years at Greenhithe were also depicted, witli an account of the "great scandal" which arose out of her residence at the alderman's house in Kent. A small volume and a portrait of Eliza Cook were issued at the Fleetstreet office about IS3S, which added materially to the growing popularity of the new singer of the people. An estrangement between Alderman Harmer and Eliza Cook occurred in 1549, in consequence of the publication of Eliza Cook's Journal, which enjoyed a large and paying circulation among the English working people. The lecturer noticed the poems of this lady under several heads — viz., poems of fancy and feeling, songs for the people, lyrics and proverbs, and rhymes for children, and gave a pleasant account of his visit to Kliza Cook in her Surrey cottage near to Hampton Court. The lecture was interspersed with anecdotes of Eliza Cook and her lady friends—Charlotte Cushman and Miss Meteyard—in their travels in various parts of England, with extracts from her wayside poems. He also read an extract from a letter received in 1870, from Eliza Cook's " hill-side home,' , at Wimbledon, where she still resides. The lecture was full of interest, and well received. At intervals the following songs of Eliza Cook were sung: —"Star of my Home," and "The Old Arm Chair," by Miss Hirst; "The Englishman," by Mr. Carter; and "I'm Afloat," by Mr. E. Spragg. Professor Lambert accompanied the vocalists on the pianoforte. At the close of the lecture votes of thanks were carried by licolaiuatiwi.

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"RECOLLECTIONS OF ELIZA COOK." New Zealand Herald, Volume XVII, Issue 5900, 15 October 1880

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