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Theodore Watts-Dunton

(1832—1914) writer and poet


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(1832–1914),

gave up his profession as solicitor to devote himself to literature. He reviewed for the Examiner, then from 1876 to 1902 was an influential writer for the Athenaeum, and as its chief poetry reviewer he supported the work of his friends in the Pre‐Raphaelite movement. Like Borrow, whom he met in 1872 he was much interested in the gypsies and uses gypsy settings in his novel Aylwin (1898), a curious work which recounts the love of Henry Aylwin for a Welsh girl, Winifred, his separation from her through a Gnostic curse, and his pursuit of her until their final reunion. His other works include sketches of Rossetti, Tennyson, etc., collected as Old Familiar Faces (1916), and an essay, ‘The Renascence of Wonder in English Poetry’ (in Chambers's Cyclopaedia of English Literature, Vol. iii, 1901), in which he strongly defends the Romantic movement. He is probably best remembered, however, for his loyal support of Swinburne, who lived with him from 1879 until his death at The Pines, Putney.

Subjects: Literature.


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