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Thomas Lovell Beddoes Edit Profile

dramatist , physician , poet

Thomas Lovell Beddoes was an English poet, dramatist and physician.


He was born at Clifton, Bristol, United Kingdom on the 20th of July 1803, the son of the physician, Thomas Beddoes.

His mother was a sister of Maria Edgeworth, the novelist.


He was sent to Bath grammar school and then to the Charterhouse. In 1820 he was entered at Pembroke College, Oxford. In the autumn of 1825 he entered on his studies at Gottingen, where he remained for four years.


At school he wrote a good deal of verse and a novel in imitation of Fielding.

The play found a small circle of admirers, and procured for Beddoes the friendship of Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall).

At this time he composed the dramatic fragments of The Second Brother and Torrismond.

Unfortunately he lacked the power of constructing a plot, and seemed to suffer from a constitutional inability to finish anything.

He remained some time in Italy, and met Mrs Shelley and Walter Savage Landor before he returned to England.

In 1825 he took his degree at Oxford, and in that year he began what he calls {Letters, p. 68) "a very Gothic styled tragedy" with "a jewel of a name. "

The years at Ziirich seem to have been the happiest of his life, but in 1839 the anti-liberal riots in the town rendered it unsafe for him, and early in the next year he had to escape secretly.

From this time he had no settled home, though he stored his books at Baden in Aargau.

He took Degen with him to Zurich, where he chartered the theatre for one night to give his friend a chance of playing Hotspur.

The two separated at Basel, and in a fit of dejection (May 1848) Beddoes tried to bleed himself to death.


  • "Sibylla's Dirge" and "The Swallow Leaves Her Nest", are "Beddoes' best works. The plots in his works are convoluted, and full of the questions posed by death.


Thomas Beddoes


T. F. Kelsall