ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

(1752-1770)


The son of a Bristol schoolmaster, the child-poet Chatterton began composing the Rowley poems while he was engaged as a clerk (1767-70). Failing to place his forgeries with Robert Dodsley, he traveled to London in 1770, where he attempting to make a living by his poetry. He was thought to have poisoned himself, though the circumstances of his death have been disputed. Controversy surrounding the posthumously published Rowley poems (1777) was carried on for years; a convenient "chart" of Rowleians and Anti-Rowleians is printed in S. Austin Allibone's Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1882) 1:373.

TEXT RECORDS:

1768[The Merrie Tricks of Lamyngeton.]
1769Aella: a Tragycal Enterlude, or Discoorseynge Tragedie.
1769Eclogue the First.
1769Eclogue the Second.
1769Eclogue the Third.
1769Elegy.
1769Elinoure and Juga.
1769Englysh Metamorphosis: Bie T. Rowleie. Booke Ist.
1769Epistle to Mastre Canynge on Aella.
1769The Gouler's Requiem.
1769The Tournament. An Interlude.
1769 ca.[Hobbinol and Thyrsis.]
1770An Excelente Balade of Charitie.
1770Elegy.
1770Heccar and Gaira. An African Eclogue.
1770Narva and Mored. An African Eclogue.
1770The Death of Nicou. An African Eclogue.

PUBLICATIONS:

The execution of Sir Charles Bawdin. 1772.
Poems, supposed to have been written at Bristol, by Thomas Rowley, and others, in the fifteenth century. 1777.
Miscellanies in prose and verse. 1778.
A supplement to the miscellanies. 1784.
Poems, ed. Robert Southey and Joseph Cottle. 3 vols, 1803.
Collected Works, ed. D. S. Taylor. 2 vols, 1971.