Watson, Sir William

▪ English author
in full  Sir John William Watson  
born Aug. 2, 1858, Burley in Wharfedale, Yorkshire, Eng.
died Aug. 11, 1935, Ditchling, Sussex
 English author of lyrical and political verse, best-known for his occasional poems.

      His first volume, The Prince's Quest (1880), was in the Pre-Raphaelite (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood) manner. Thereafter he became a poet of statement, concerned with current affairs. Watson's Wordsworth's Grave (1890), his Lachrymae Musarum (1892; on the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the poet laureate), and his coronation ode for King Edward VII contributed to his reputation. He had strong liberal-imperialist political views and attacked the government on a number of issues. Watson's later poetry, appearing in an edition of 1936, remained firmly Victorian in idea and idiom.

Additional Reading
James G. Nelson, Sir William Watson (1966); Jean Moorcroft Wilson, I Was an English Poet: A Critical Biography of Sir William Watson (1858–1936) (1981).

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Universalium. 2010.

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