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Alexander Pope was born in London, May 21, 1688. Sickly and deformed, he was unable to attend school, but he was nevertheless a great student. His writings are witty and satirical. His bestknown poems are “Essay on Man,” “Translation of the Iliad," “ Essay on Criticism,” and “The Rape of the Lock.” He died in 1744.
Thomas Gray was born in London in 1716. He was educated at Eton, and Peter-House College, Cambridge. He lived all his life at Cambridge, ultimately being appointed professor of Modern History. His most famous poem is the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." He died in 1771.
William Cowper was born at Great Berkhamstead, England, November 26, 1731. He was educated at Westminster School, and studied law at the Middle Temple, being called to the bar in 1754. He was very delicate and afflicted with nervousness that amounted to insanity at times. Not until 1780 did he seriously begin his literary career. Then for a period of a little more than ten years he worked with success and was happy. His most famous poems are “ John Gilpin," "The Task,” “Hope," and “Lines on my Mother's Portrait.” In the latter part of his life his nervous melancholy again affected him. He died in 1800.
Robert Burns was born at Ayr in Scotland, January 25, 1759. He was the son of a poor farmer, and he himself followed the plow in his earlier days. He was about to seek his fortune in America when his first volume of poems was published and won him fame at once. His style is simple and sincere, with a fire of intensity. His best poems are “ Tam o'Shanter" and " The Cottar's Saturday Night.” He died July 21, 1796.
William Wordsworth was born at Cockermouth, in Cumberland, England, on April 7, 1770. He completed his education at St. John's College, Cambridge, taking his degree of B.A. in 1791. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1843, succeeding Robert Southey. He is the poet of nature and of simple life. Among his best-known poems are “ The Ode to Immortality,” “The Excursion," and “ Yarrow Revisited.” He died April 23, 1850.
APPENDIX: BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh, August 15, 1771. He - Ta ze was educated at Edinburgh University and afterward studied law
in his father's office. His energy and tireless work were marvelous. * He followed the practice of his profession until he was appointed Look" Clerk of Session. His official duties were scrupulously performed,
yet his literary work surpasses in volume and ability that of any of his contemporaries. Novelist, historian, poet, he excelled in whatever style of literature he attempted. His best-known poems are “ The Lady of the Lake," " Marmion,” and “The Lay of the Last Minstrel."
He died in 1832.
Robert Southey was born at Bristol, August 12, 1774. He was expelled from Westminster School for writing an article against school flogging. Later he studied at Balliol College, Oxford. He was an incessant worker, laboring at all branches of literature, from his famous nursery story, "The Three Bears,” to “ The Life of Nelson.” He was appointed Laureate in 1813. His most successful long poems are “Thalaba” and “ The Curse of Kehama." He died in 1843.
Thomas Campbell was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1777. He was educated at the university of his native town, and he was regarded as its most brilliant scholar ; in his later life he was elected Lord Rector of the university.
His best-known poems are “ The Pleasures of Hope," " Gertrude of Wyoming,” and “Ye Mariners of England.” He died in 1844.
Thomas Moore was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1779. He was educated at Trinity College, and afterward studied law at the Middle Temple, London. “ Lalla Rookh” and his “ Irish Melodies" have won for him a lasting fame as a poet. He died February 26, 1852.
James Henry Leigh Hunt was born near London in 1784. He left school when only fifteen to become a clerk in the War Office, where he remained until 1808, when he and his brother published The Examiner. From that time he was occupied as an editor and writer, being connected with different periodicals. He was the intimate friend of Byron, Moore, Shelley, and Keats. One of his
best poems, " Rimini," was written in prison, where he was condemned to remain for two years because he had published a satirical article about the prince regent. In his later years a pension of two hundred pounds was granted him. He died August 28, 1859.
George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron, was born in London, January 22, 1788. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, but did not remain to take his degree. While at the university he published a volume of poems, “ Hours of Idleness,” which he followed shortly by the satirical poem “ English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, which won him immediate recognition. He wrote many dramatic poems, but his most beautiful work is “Childe Harold.”
He was the friend of Shelley and Leigh Hunt, and together they published The Liberal. In 1823 he joined the Greeks in their struggle for freedom, and the exposure and exertion that he suffered in this war brought on the fever of which he died in April, 1824.
Percy Bysshe Shelley was born at Field Place, England, August 4, 1792. He was entered at University College, Oxford, but was shortly expelled as an atheist. His life was a sad one, his first marriage was unhappy, and he was drowned when only thirty years old, in July, 1822. His longest and best works are " The Cenci," " Prometheus Unbound,” “ The Revolt of Islam," and “ Adonais," an elegy on the death of his friend, the poet Keats, near whom he was buried.
John Keats was born in London, England, in 1795 or 1796. His poem
66 Endymion was criticised severely in the Quarterly Review. Keats was so sensitive that this criticism is supposed to have aggravated his malady, and thus to be responsible for his early death. Among his other poems may be noted “Hyperion," “ Lamia,” and “ The Eve of St. Agnes.” He died at Rome in 1821.
Thomas Hood was born in London, England, May 23, 1799. His humorous verses first attracted attention, but his serious poems have given him a lasting place in literature. Among these are Song of the Shirt,"
"The Bridge of Sighs," Eugene Aram," and - Ode to Melancholy." He died in 1845.
APPENDIX: BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay, was born in Leicestershire, October 25, 1800. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and studied law. He disliked his profession, greatly preferring literature. In 1830 he entered Parliament and was made Secretary of War in 1839. He was elected Lord Rector of Glasgow University and was raised to the peerage in 1857. He died in 1859. His bestknown poems are “Ivry” and “The Lays of Ancient Rome.”
The reign of Queen Victoria from a literary standpoint is second only to that of Elizabeth in brilliancy. The Victorian Age is usually applied to the whole century, during the better part of which Victoria reigned. The literature of this age is rich with the writings of Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his sister Christina, William Morris, Matthew Arnold, Edwin Arnold, Jean Ingelow, Owen Meredith, Arthur Hugh Clough, Adelaide Procter, and a host of minor poets.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was born at Somersby, August 6, 1809. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. His first book of poems, written with his brother Charles, was published two years before he entered college ; from that time until his death his literary work was continuous. In 1850 he succeeded Wordsworth as Poet Laureate, and thirty-four years later was raised to the peerage. His poems cover a wide range - lyrics, ballads, idyls, and dramas. His most important works are “ The Princess,” “In Memoriam, ,” “Maud,” and “ The Idylls of the King." He died in 1892.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born at Durham, England, March 6, 1809. She was highly educated and was proficient in both Greek and Latin. She wrote her first verses at the age of ten, and her first volume of poems was published when she was but seventeen years old. In 1846 she was married to the poet Robert Browning Her first known works are “ Aurora Leigh,' a novel in verse,
66 The Portuguese Sonnets,'' “ Casa Guidi Windows," and "The Cry of the Children," a poem written to show the wretchedness of the little children employed in the mines
and factories of England. She died at Florence, Italy, in June, 1861.
Robert Browning was born in Camberwell, England, in 1812. He was educated at the University of London. He married Elizabeth Barrett, the poet, and together they lived much of their time in Italy. They were deeply interested in the struggle of Italy for freedom, and both wrote on this subject. In his long life Browning wrote many volumes of poems, and it is difficult to choose among them. “ The Pied Piper of Hamelin” is always a favorite with the young people, as are “How they brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix,” “Herve Riel,” and “Ratisbon."
His most popular poems are “Pippa Passes," " The Ring and the Book," "A Blot on the 'Scutcheon," and “Saul.” He died in 1889.
Marian Evans, who wrote under the name of George Eliot, was born at Aubury Farm, near Nuneaton, England, November 22, 1819. She was carefully educated and was a most earnest student. While her poems are beautiful, her best work is in prose; and she ranks as one of England's greatest novelists. Her most famous novels are “ Adam Bede," " The Mill on the Floss, "9.66 Silas Marner,” and “ Middlemarch." She married Mr. John Cross, in May, 1880, and died December 22 of the same year.
Jean Ingelow was born at Boston, England, in 1820. She is known both as a poet and novelist. Her best-known poems are “ Songs of Seven” and “ The Hi Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire." She died in 1897.
Matthew Arnold, son of Thomas Arnold of Rugby, was born at Laleham, England, December 24, 1822. He was educated at Rugby and Oxford. In 1857 he was elected professor of Poetry at Oxford. He is chiefly noted for his essays, though his poems are lofty in sentiment and polished in diction. "Sohrab and Rustum ” is his most important poem. He died in 1888.
Dinah Maria Mulock Craik was born in Staffordshire, England, in 1826. She won her fame as a writer of novels, of which the best is “ John Halifax, Gentleman.” She died in 1887.