Coventry Patmore

(1823—1896) poet and essayist

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published his first volume, Poems, in 1844. His work was much admired by the Pre‐Raphaelites, and he contributed to the Germ. In 1847 he married his first wife, Emily, who inspired his sequence of poems The Angel in the House (1854–63); together the Patmores represented an image of the ideal Victorian couple, and in this role entertained many eminent literary figures. Emily died in 1862. In 1864 he travelled to Rome, where he met his second wife Marianne, a Roman Catholic, and was himself converted to Catholicism. The Unknown Eros (1877) contains odes marked by an erotic mysticism, but also some more autobiographical pieces (now the most anthologized), including ‘The Azalea’, ‘Departure’, and ‘A Farewell’, directly inspired by Emily's illness and death. Subsequent volumes included Amelia, Tamerton Church‐Tower, etc. (1878) and The Rod, The Root and The Flower (1895), chiefly meditations on religious subjects.

Subjects: Literature.

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