Beddoes, Thomas Lovell

▪ English poet
born June 30, 1803, Clifton, Somerset, Eng.
died Jan. 26, 1849, Basel, Switz.
 poet best known for his haunting dramatic poem Death's Jest-Book; or, The Fool's Tragedy.

      The son of a distinguished scientist, Beddoes seems early to have acquired, from his father's dissections and speculations on anatomy and the soul, an obsession with death that was to dominate his life and work. He was educated at Charterhouse, where his passion for the drama became evident and where he nourished his imagination on 18th-century Gothic romances. In 1820 he went to Oxford University, where he wrote his first considerable work, The Bride's Tragedy (1822), based on the story of a murder committed by an undergraduate. In 1825 he went to Göttingen, Ger., to study anatomy and medicine. There he continued work on Death's Jest-Book. Friends who read the first version advised revision, and Beddoes' acceptance of their advice hindered his poetic development: for the rest of his life he was unable to escape from the work or to complete it, and it was eventually published posthumously in 1850.

      In Death's Jest-Book itself, which Beddoes described as an example of “the florid Gothic,” he aimed to use Gothic material to discuss the problems of mortality and immortality.

      After trouble with the university authorities, Beddoes left Göttingen, moved to Würzburg (where he received his M.D.), and there involved himself in radical politics. More trouble caused him to leave Germany for Zürich, where his interest in writing English verse waned. In 1840 he had to flee from Switzerland, probably for political reasons, and he never afterward settled in one place for very long. He visited England for the last time in 1846–47. Two years later he committed suicide.

Additional Reading
H.W. Donner, Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1935, reprinted 1970); and James R. Thompson, Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1985), discuss his life and work.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BEDDOES, THOMAS LOVELL —    born at Clifton, son of Thomas Beddoes; an enthusiastic student of science; a dramatic poet, author of Bride s Tragedy ; got into trouble for his Radical opinions; his principal work, Death s Jest Book, or the Fool s Tragedy, highly esteemed… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Beddoes, Thomas Lovell — (1803 1849)    Dramatic poet and physiologist, s. of Dr. Thos. B., an eminent physician, and nephew of Maria Edgeworth. Ed. at the Charterhouse and Oxford, he pub. in 1821 The Improvisatore, which he afterwards endeavoured to suppress. His next… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Beddoes, Thomas Lovell — (1803 1849)    Gifted poet of the late Romantic Elizabethan revival period, educated at Charterhouse School and Oxford University. He qualified as a doctor in Germany in 1832 and lived the rest of his life on the Continent. The death of his… …   British and Irish poets

  • Thomas Lovell Beddoes — Nacimiento 20 de julio de 1803 Clifton, Somerset  Inglaterra Defunción …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thomas Lovell Beddoes — (* 20. Juli 1803 in Clifton; † 26. Januar 1849 in Basel) war englischer Dichter. Thomas Lovell Beddoes wurde in Clifton in England als Sohn des Naturforschers Thomas Beddoes (1760–1808) geboren. Er kam zuerst in die Schule in Bath, später in das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Lovell Beddoes — (June 30, 1803 – January 26, 1849) was an English poet and dramatist.BiographyBorn in Clifton, Somerset, England, he was the son of Dr. Thomas Beddoes, a friend of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Anna, sister of Maria Edgeworth. He was educated at… …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas Lovell Beddoes — Thomas Lovell Beddoes, poète et dramaturge anglais, est né le 30 juin 1803 à Clifton, Somerset. Il étudie la médecine à Göttingen, mène en Allemagne et en Suisse une vie errante, s empoisonne en 1849, laissant des œuvres où l obsession de l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thomas Beddoes — (* 13. April 1760 in Shropshire; † 24. Dezember 1808) war ein englischer Arzt und Autor wissenschaftlicher Werke. Er galt als ein fortschrittlicher Praktiker und Lehrer der Medizin und war mit bedeutenden Gelehrten seiner Zeit bekannt. Beddoes… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Forbes Kelsall — (1799 September 1872), was an English lawyer and literary figure. For some time he lived at 3 Houndwell Lane, Southampton.He married Frances Anne Harrison on 21 April 1829.T. F. Kelsall was the literary executor and friend of Thomas Lovell… …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas Beddoes — (April 13, 1760 December 24, 1808), English physician and scientific writer, was born at Shiffnall in Shropshire. He was a reforming practitioner and teacher of medicine, and an associate of leading scientific figures.He was a friend of Samuel… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.