Horace Walpole was born in London, 24 September 1717, the third surviving son of Sir Robert Walpole and his wife Catherine. Given the contrast between his effete vivacity and his father's robust forcefulness, there has always been a rumour that he was in fact the product of an adulterous liaison of his mother's, but he also bore a strong resemblance to one of his father's illegitimate children. Walpole lived primarily with his mother, who was in effect separated from his father. He was educated at Eton from 1727 to 1734, where he met the future poet Thomas Gray, and King's College, Cambridge, from 1735 to 1738. At Cambridge he studied mathematics, music and anatomy, but left, as was common practice among gentlemen, without taking a …
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Baines, Paul. "Horace Walpole". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
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