Matthew Lewis (1032 words)

Stuart Sim (University of Sunderland)
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Matthew Lewis was born in London into a family whose wealth derived from their ownership of sugar plantations in Jamaica. His father, Matthew senior, was born in Jamaica, returning to England for his education and remaining to take up a post in the War Office in 1772, eventually becoming Chief Clerk as well as Deputy-Secretary at War. He married Frances Maria Sewell after joining the War Office, and the couple had four children, Matthew being the oldest. Lewis was educated at Marylebone Seminary, Westminster School, and Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1794.

The most momentous event of Lewis’s early life was the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. They separated in 1781, with Mrs. Lewis becoming embroiled in an affair w…

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Sim, Stuart. "Matthew Lewis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[, accessed 18 December 2018.]

Related Groups

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  3. English Romanticism

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