Five Fascinating Facts about Thomas Chatterton

Interesting Literature

The life and work of the poet Thomas Chatterton, told through five bits of trivia

1. Chatterton was, in effect, the first English Romantic poet. Before William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), Thomas Chatterton (1752-177o) was laying the groundwork for a revolution in English verse. Chatterton was perhaps the most precocious English poet who has ever lived. In his early teens, he fell in love with all things medieval, and invented the figure of the fifteenth-century monk Thomas Rowley, who would become the teenage boy’s alter ego. Thereafter, Chatterton would write the majority of his poems as Rowley, and even succeeded in passing them off as genuine medieval poems … for a while, at least.

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