Thomas Chatterton (2718 words)


One of the great tragic icons of Romanticism, Thomas Chatterton, continues to be better known for his legend than for his substantial literary works. Born on Pile Street in south Bristol, England, on 20 November 1752, he was the son of a schoolmaster and 'singing man' who had died two months previously. His mother, in order to support her son and his elder sister, took in sewing and kept a dame school. Pile Street itself was long ago absorbed into a sprawl of dual carriageways, hotels and office blocks; the small house in which Chatterton spent his childhood can still be seen, however, sitting across the busy main road from St Mary Redcliffe, the largest parish church in England and a building that dominated the poet's short life and …

Citation: Phillips, Ivan. "Thomas Chatterton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001 [, accessed 06 July 2022.]

835 Thomas Chatterton 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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