Theodore Watts-Dunton was known primarily as a literary critic for the



Encyclopaedia Britannica

, for his romantic writing about the Romani people of England and Wales in poetry and prose fiction, and for his literary and artistic friendships, in particular his long-time support and companionship to the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. While successful in his own lifetime, his work has fallen out of favour and is no longer generally well-known.

Walter Theodore Watts was born in 1832 in St. Ives, Huntingdonshire to John King Watts, a solicitor, and his East Anglian mother, Susannah Dunton. Theodore incorporated her surname into his own by deed poll in 1897. He was apparently enchanted by literature from a young age, with a formative experience being that of reading Spenser’s

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Citation: Matthews, Jodie. "Theodore Watts-Dunton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 February 2010 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

4630 Theodore Watts-Dunton 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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