Thursday, March 21, 2013

British poet & author Robert Southey died - 1843

British poet & author Robert Southey died on March 21, 1843 in London, England. He was a poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets,” and Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 to his death in 1843. He was born on August 12, 1774 in Bristol, England and was educated at the Westminster School. Although his fame has been long eclipsed by that of his contemporaries and friends William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Southey's verse still enjoys some popularity. Moreover, Southey was a prolific letter writer, literary scholar, essay writer, historian and biographer. His biographies include the life and works of John Bunyan, John Wesley, William Cowper, Oliver Cromwell, and Horatio Nelson. The last has rarely been out of print since its publication in 1813 and was adapted for the screen in the 1926 British film, Nelson. He was also a renowned Portuguese and Spanish scholar, translating a number of works of those two countries into English and writing both a History of Brazil (part of his planned History of Portugal which was never completed) and a History of the Peninsular War. Perhaps his most enduring contribution to literary history is the children's classic, The Story of the Three Bears, the original Goldilocks story, which first saw print in Southey's prose collection, The Doctor. He died on March 21, 1843 and is buried in the churchyard of Crosthwaite Church, Keswick, England where he worshipped for forty years. There is a memorial to him inside the church with an epitaph written by his friend, William Wordsworth.

Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Literary Legends. The book can be purchased from Amazon though the following links:

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