HideShow resource information
  • Created by: e_hook
  • Created on: 28-03-15 21:55

Henry Howard (Earl of Surrey)

When: 1517 - 1547         Poem: Love that doth reign and live within my thought

  • Decendant to Edward I, so could potentially challenge the English throne
  • Henry VIII was King at the time (Tudor Times)
  • Howard wrote poems for the Court- very prostigious/important role
  • At age of 28 was the General Lieutenant for the King whilst in France (military)
  • Howard was extremely short tempered and arrogant
  • His persona and royalty connections intimidated Henry VIII
  • Thus Howard was imprisoned numerous times for his controversial political views
  • Henry VIII technically wasn't meant to be King as he married into the rights to the throne
  • January 13th 1547 sentenced to execuation on a trumped up charage (exaggerated) of treason
  • January 19th 1547 Howard was executed
  • His father was due to be executed the next day, however Henry VIII died so he was relieved of his charges
  • Howard introduced 'Blank Verse' (without rhyme- iambic pentameter) along with companion Thomas Wyatt, forming early stages of Shakespearian Sonnet
  • Including quatrains within sonnets
1 of 13

John Donne (Metaphysical)

When: 1572 - 1631        Poem: Sonnet: Batter my heart

  • Metaphysical poet- explores ideas beyond the physical world (time, space, God)
  • Donne was an intellect who went to University at a young age
  • Born into Roman Catholic family during a time when you were persecuted for being Catholic
  • Donne's father a some of his siblings died when he was young
  • Originally didn't dwell on religion
  • During his time he served as a member of parliaent and was a diplomat
  • Queen Elizabeth I upheld her father's (Henry VIII) CofE rulings
  • Married his employer's adolescent niece- Ann More in 1601 in secret she died in 1617
  • Ordained in the CofE priest in later years once he converted devoting his life after Ann More to Church and God
  • Poetry revolves around Carnal/courtly love and Divine appreciation/relgion based
  • The two confliciting concepts between reality and spiritual means are constantly debated within Donne's poetry
  • Conveying the constant dispute he tackled- living in a time where science began to develop
  • Many people siding with logical arguments rather than Religion
  • Conceit- extended metaphors evoluntionary, outlandish images. Antithesis, Juxtaposition, Oymorons
2 of 13

Robert Herrick

When: 1591 - 1674     Poem: To Virgins to Make Much of Time

  • Carpe Diem- Seize the day- to live in the moment phrase used by Classicists such as Horrace and Herrick
  • Herrick was a royalist and a Cavalier meaning he supported Charles I and their lavish ways in comparison to previously protestant England
  • Father committed suicide a year after Herrick was born
  • Up until the civil war Herrick was  a vicar where his postion was removed as he refused to pledge to the 'Solemn League and Covenant'  - agreement between English and Scots on uniting in fighting agaisnt royalists
  • His political beliefs meant he didnt bode well with parlimentarians
  • Would have witnessed many deaths as lived for a long time considering average life in his time period
  • Could have inspired his 'relish the moment' attitude                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
3 of 13

Jonathan Swift

When: 1667 - 1745              Poem: A satirical elegy on the death of a late famous General

  • Born in Dublin into a Protestant family
  • Author of Gulliver's Travels- portraying disgust and horror at pernicious the human race is
  • Took a B.A Degree at Trinity College then moved to England (1726)
  • In late twenties took a further degree becoming a priest in the CofE and held several official Church positions in Ireland of which he went to often
  • Renowned for publishing controversial and satirical work (mocks famous people)
  • Established himself as an political pamphleteer in early 1700's as well as in 1713 becoming Dean of St.Patrick's Cathedral
  • 1742 declared officially incapable of looking after himself after his Meniere's Disease severly worsened (Vertigo- deafness, giddiness)
  • Due to his life being 'full of disappointments'- career, political allegiances and love his writing presented a savage analysis of human nature.
  • Although he was a loyal and kind-hearted friend, it was his dislike for the human race that fueled his literature, generally he loved individual human beings
4 of 13

William Wordsworth (Romanticist)

When: 1770 - 1850     Poem: 'I Wandered lonely as a cloud'

  • Born in northwest England near the Lakedistrict. Mother died when Wordsworth was 8 and Father when he was young
  • He loved the countryside where he was free to explore- adventurous, imaginative, strong-minded and rebellious
  • 1787 attended St.John's College, Cambridge he was never a bright scholar and was quite an introvert that didn't seem to fit in
  • November 1791 returned to France where he had previously been on a walking tour with his friend Robert Jones- French Revolution- Wordsworth embraced it later writing of "France standing on the top of golden hours,/ and human nature being born again."
  • Appalled when England went into war with revoluntionary France- watched Revolution turn into tyranny and conquest throwing wordsworth into a state of moral confusion
  • Coleridge's critical insight helped to shape Wordsworth the pair were insperable creating a set of Lyrical Ballards together (not popular at time but later a landmark in Eng Lit history)
  • Wrote about: ordinary events, people (simple country folk/children),social outcasts/misfits. Breaking proper subject matter of poetry
  • He was a political radical after more deaths in his family (siblings) Wordsworth lost his visonary power inspired  by nature which helped him find peace and serenity
5 of 13

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Romanticist)

When: 1772 - 1834                    Poem: Kubla Khan

  • 1797 whilst living in Somerset Coleridge took opium (to which he became addicted) falling asleep reading Kubla Khan it is thought his halucinations created the poem taking the two or three hundred lines he had composed in his sleep
  • Coleridge was a political radical inspired by the French Revolution
  • Wrote with Wordsworth creating combining nature and lyrical ballards
  • With Wordsworth changed the conventions of poetry to- natural speech, simply stated themes, emotion, experiencing natural beauty
  • Explored relationship between nature and the mind
  • Concoted bizarre and unsettling stories full of fantastic imagery and magic
  • Influenced writers such as: Shelley- depicting feelings of alienation and numbness
  • Coleridge believed that a strong, active imagination could become a vehicle for transcending unpleasant circumstances- imagination helps one to rise above any difficult circumstances
  • Widely explored dreams/dreaming through poetry
6 of 13

Lord Byron (Romanticist)

When:1788 - 1824                   Poem: She walks in beauty

  • Byron's father married his mother for her money and then abondoned the family
  • Inherited the title and ancestral home of his uncle becoming the sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale
  • Went to Harrow School and later Cambridge Trinity, visited Greece and Turkey
  • Had a seat in parliament as part of his Baronial duties
  • Bryon had numerous affairs and fathered several illegitimate children
  • Had an affair with his half-sister, Augusta
  • Married Annabella Millbank in 1815 and called their daughter, Augusta Ada Byron was abusive towards Annabella causing her to leave a year later- to leave a man with child would have been a sin in 1800's
  • Left for Europe in 1819 went to Switzerland met Peter and Mary Shelley where Mary wrote famous novel Frankenstein. Then moved to Italy, where he felt liberated and free in comparison to strict English society
  • In his final years he wrote 'Don Juan'- someone who goes around charmin the ladies
  • 1823 he left Italy for Greece to join a group of insurgents fighting for independence from the Turks (these countries saw him as a freedom fighter)
  • April 9th, 1824 soaked in rain contracted a fever died ten days later
7 of 13

John Clare (Romanticist)

When:1793 - 1864                         Poem: First Love

  • Grew up in Northamptonshire, in poverished family unlike Shakespeare and Howard who were well off
  • Rustic countryside inspired Clare's poetry, only son of field labourers where he spent childhood on farm supporting family
  • Formallly educated only 3 months per year in local schools by the age of 14 financial harship ended his education as he was forced to work to help provide for his family
  • Parents taught him fold ballards and Clare read James Thomson's poetry
  • 1809 worked at Blue Bell Inn in Hepston and fell in love with Mary Joyce, whose father quickly broke off their relationship because of Clare's inferior social status she was Clare's first love
  • Poems were criticised for grammatical inaccuracies and poor punctuation
  • Clare spent his last 23 years in Northhampton General County Lunatic Asylum as his mental health collapsed in 1841
  • During this unstable state he believed he was Lord Byron and lived in bigamy with Mary Joyce and his true wife (Martha Turner who he had children with)
8 of 13

John Keats (Romanticist)

When: 1795 - 1821             Poem: To Autumn

  • Oldest of four children and in London into a working, middle class family
  • He lost both of his parents at a young age, leaving him and his siblings in care of a guardian
  • At the age of 15 his interest in Literature grew when his friend Charles Cowden Clarke, the son of the school's headmaster, showed him mythology and travel-lore
  • Keats entered a medical school and passed all his exams in 1816 to become a surgeon
  • That year Keats met Leigh Hunt who published the liberal journal the Examiner
  • 1817 he published a volume of poems the few reviews were not so critical showing promise
  • Keats continuously struggled with unfavourable responses to his poetry during his life time due to his socail standing, limited education ('Cockney School')
  • Also his poor health cut short his life at 25 years old
  • Dying a slow and painful death from the hereditary disease Tuberculosis which many of his relatives died from
  • Died in Rome after going to Italy as the fairer climate/cleaner air helped to stabalise his health for 5 months
9 of 13

Alfred Lord Tennyson (Victorian)

When: 1809 - 1892             Poem: Break, Break, Break

  • Tennyson's closest friend was Arthur Hallam
  • Both went to Trinity College, Cambridge
  • However when Tennyson's father died he could no longer afford to attend Trinity
  • In the Victorian era money was everything, despite this Hallam still stuck by Tennyson
  • Hallam and Tennyson's sister fell in love and were dued to be married
  • Hallam travelled with his father to Europe in 1833
  • Unfortunately he caught a fever, Hallam died whilst taking a nap on the sofa of a stroke
  • Tennyson was extremely pained by his friend's death
10 of 13

Arthur Hugh Clough (Victorian)

When: 1819 - 1861              Poem: There is no God, the wicked saith

  • His work reflects the perplexity and religious doubt of mid-19th century England
  • Clough was a friend of Matthew Arnold
  • While studying at Oxford, Clough intended to become a clergyman (Vicar)
  • However, his religious skepticism (crisis in faith) caused him to leave the university
  • 1849 he became head of University Hall, London
  • 1852 Ralph Waldo Emerson invited him to lecture in Massachusetts which he spent several months doing
  • Later he worked as a government education official and helped his wife's first cousin, Florence Nightingale, in her philanthropic work
  • While on a visit to Italy he contracted malaria and died at age 42

Victorian Religion:

  • First time debates in parliment took place between science and religion
  • Pre 1829 only allowed to go to Anglican churches, now started to accept other denominations and religions (empires brought in different cultures and religions)
  • Wealthier people become interested in science, enabling more research
11 of 13

Thomas Hardy (Victorian/Naturalist)

When: 1840 - 1928                           Poem: Nature's Questioning

  • Son of a mason from Dorset
  • Studied to be a architect and worked in this profession for many years
  • Hardy's maternal grandmother and mother were notable and purposeful women with lively minds who aided his sensitivity and tenacious intellectual curiosity
  • Hardy obtained his passion for music from his father
  • The small rural community and music inspired his work
  • Hardy was appaled by the industrial revolution and the developments of science destroying natural habitats
  • He was married twice- 1st marriage being long and predominantly unhappy to Emma Gifford marrying in 1874 she died in 1912
  • 1914 Hardy married his secretary Florence Dugdale who later became his biographer, Hardy died age 87
  • He had asked to be laid beside Emma but his body was buried in Poet's Corner in Westminister with only his heart being buried in Emma's grave
  • There is a conspiracy to whether it actually is as it is thought his sister's cat seized the heart which was left on the kitchen table by the house keeper 
12 of 13

Gerard Manley Hopkins (Victorian)

When: 1844 - 1889                     Poem: God's Grandeur

  • Eldest son in family of 8, educated at Highgate School and Oxford where he always experimented writing poetry
  • Admired Rossetti's work
  • During his time there were high tensions between the Catholic and Anglican faiths
  • Hopkins family was CofE, however at the age of 22 he converted to Catholicism and later became Cardinal
  • After graduating with his first degree be became a Jesuit priest (a member of the Society of Jesus)
  • An extremely strict and disciplined group
  • Followed motto- "Ad majorem dei gloriam" (To the greater glory of god) members should dedicate themselves to God and to never seek fame or recognition
  • Ordained as a priest and worked in many cities teaching Latin and Greek in Catholic foundations
13 of 13


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Language & Literature resources:

See all English Language & Literature resources »See all Poetry resources »