The most tragic personality of the “tragic generation” of the1890s, Dowson was the quintessential English decadent poet, moving in the literary circles of Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley and Leonard Smithers, and contributing essays, poems and stories to the leading little magazines of the day, including the Century Guild Hobby Horse, the Yellow Book and the Savoy. He earned a bare living as a translator and completed two novels and a play, The Pierrot of the Minute (published in 1897 with illustrations by Beardsley). Along with Lionel Johnson, he became a celebrated absintheur and key member of the Rhymers’ Club, and gained a reputation for writing pessimistic lyrics that fixated on …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Desmarais, Jane. "Ernest Dowson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 May 2015
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]