Lord Dufferin to Alfred Tennyson :
'For the first 20 years of my life I not only did not care for poetry, but to the despair of my friends absolutely disliked it, at least so much of it as until that time had fallen in my way. In vain my mother read to me Dryden, Pope, Byron, Young, Cowper and all the standard classics of the day, each seemed to me as distasteful as I had from early infancy found Virgil, and I shall never forget her dismay when at a literary dinner I was cross-examined as to my tastes, and blushingly confessed before an Olympus of poets that I rather disliked poetry than otherwise.
'Soon afterwards I fell in with a volume of yours, and suddenly felt such a sensation of delight as I never experienced before. A new world seemed to open to me, and from that day, by a constant study of your works, I gradually worked my way to a gradual appreciation of what is good in all kinds of authors.'