Mark Akenside

(1666 words)
  • Adam Simon Rounce (University of Nottingham)

Mark Akenside (1721-1770) was one of the most significant poets of the mid to late eighteenth century. His posthumous reputation is in some respects a model of how Victorian taste progressively forgot the poets of the preceding century. Born to a dissenting family in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (his father was a butcher), Akenside was something of a prodigy, and the extent of his early education and talent is said to be considerable (another childhood incident supposedly had his foot being badly injured by a meat cleaver in his father’s shop, though this was probably a misapprehension of Akenside being born with a slightly shortened leg). Akenside attended Edinburgh University, decided to specialise in medicine, and went to get his degree …

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Rounce, Adam Simon. "Mark Akenside". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 September 2016
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]