Stephen Duck

(1863 words)
  • Stephen Van-Hagen (Edge Hill University)

Stephen Duck was born c.1705 in Charlton St. Peter, Wiltshire, the son of labouring parents. Duck went to a charity school until he was fourteen, when his mother withdrew him, according to a notorious anonymous account of Duck’s early life published in 1730, “lest he become too fine a gentleman for the family that produced him”. He married at nineteen and fathered three children, continuing his education by studying late at night and in work breaks. He was writing his own poetry by 1729, when he came to the attention of local gentry and clergy. His earliest extant poem, originally published untitled in 1730 but later (in 1736) as “To a Gentleman, who requested a Copy of Verses from the Author”, was written at the …

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Van-Hagen, Stephen. "Stephen Duck". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 March 2007
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]