Richard Alfred Davenport, born at Lambeth, began writing sonnets early in life. He acquired some reputation as editor of the Poetical Register, but seems to have made his living by writing biographers for the popular press. In addition to writing the lives for the Chiswick edition of the British Poets (1822), Davenport wrote biographies and histories for the Family Library and other commercial ventures. He spent his later years addicted to opium and living in seclusion. Some of his letters are reprinted in Richard Polwhele's Traditions and Recollections (1826) signed "D."
1796Sonnet, written near an old Mansion at Midnight.
1797Ode to Amicus.
1797Sonnet. Farewell to the Country.
1797Sonnet. To Two Friends.
1800Sonnet to Ianthe.
1800[Stanzas inserted in The Pleasures of Solitude.]
1801Sonnet. The Timid Lover.
1802Song, from Florian.
1822The British Poets: Life of Edmund Spenser.
The British poets [lives by Davenport]. 100 vols, 1822.
Works of William Robertson [ed. Davenport]. 1824.
The common-place book of epigrams [ed. Davenport]. 1825.
New elegant extracts. 1827.
A dictionary of biography. 1831.
The history of Greece [Mitford, continued by Davenport]. 1835.
The life of Ali Pasha. 1837.
Sketches of imposture, deception, and credulity. 1837.
A history of the Bastille. 1838.
Narratives of peril and suffering. 2 vols, 1840.
Lives of individuals who raised themselves from poverty to eminence or fortune. 1841.
A general dictionary of painters [Pilkington, revised by Davenport]. 1852.