Ernest Dowson (2277 words)


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The most tragic personality of the “tragic generation” of the 1890s, 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 …

Citation: Desmarais, Jane. "Ernest Dowson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 May 2015 [, accessed 22 October 2020.]

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