ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

(1785-1806)


The son of a Nottingham butcher, Henry Kirke White attended school before working as a stocking-weaver and being apprenticed to an attorney. His Clifton Grove (1803) attracted the attention of Robert Southey, who encouraged him to obtain a sizarship at St John's College Cambridge with the intention of a career in the church. In failing health, White evidently worked himself to death at school. Southey afterwards edited his manuscripts for publication in a volume frequently reprinted throughout the nineteenth century — as much perhaps for Southey's compelling story as for the poems themselves.


TEXT RECORDS:

1799 ca.Childhood: a Poem.
1799 ca.Lines, on reading the Poems of Warton.
1799 ca.Ode to the Morning Star.
1799 ca.Ode, written on Whit-Monday.
1799 ca.The Hermit of the Pacific, or The Horrors of utter Solitude.
1799 ca.To the Muse. Written at the Age of Fourteen.
1801Remarks on the English Poets. Warton.
1803To an early Primrose.
1804 ca.Fragment.
1804 ca.Ode to Liberty.
1804 ca.Ode to the Genius of Romance.
1804 ca.The Christiad, a Divine Poem.
1804 ca.[Untitled, "With slow step, along the desert sand."]

PUBLICATIONS:

Clifton Grove: a sketch in verse, with other poems. 1803.
The Remains of Kirke White, with an account of his life, ed. Southey. 2 vols, 1807, 1811; 3 vols, 1822.
Life, with correspondence, ed. Seeley. 1856.
Poetical works, ed. H. Kirke Swann. 1897.
Poems, letters, and prose fragments, ed. John Drinkwater. 1907.
Poems, hymns, and prose writings, ed. R. T. Beckwith. 1985.