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George Darley

(1795—1846) poet and writer


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(1795–1846),

born in Dublin, settled in London in 1821, and earned his living by writing textbooks on mathematics and as dramatic critic for the London Magazine and later as art critic for the Athenaeum. His first published poem was The Errors of Ecstasie (1822). Sylvia (1827), a pastoral drama, was the most successful of his works in his own lifetime. Many of his lyrics were published in magazines, the best known being Syren Songs, ‘Serenade of a Loyal Martyr’, and ‘It is not Beauty I demand’, a 17th‐cent. pastiche which F. T. Palgrave included in his Golden Treasury under the impression that it was a genuine Caroline poem. Darley also published two historical plays, Thomas à Becket and Ethelstan. His finest work was his unfinished Nepenthe, privately printed 1835, an allegory of the imagination in excesses of joy or melancholy, partly inspired by Milton, Shelley, and Keats, but containing some remarkable lyrics and passages of wild fantasy and highly skilled versification.

Subjects: Literature.


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