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A Short Biographical Sketch of THOMAS LOVELL BEDDOES (1803 to 1849)

by John W. Cousin

BEDDOES, THOMAS LOVELL (1803-1849). —Dramatic poet and physiologist, s. of Dr. Thos. B., an eminent physician, and nephew of Maria Edgeworth. Ed. at the Charterhouse and Oxford, he pub. in 1821 The Improvisatore, which he afterwards endeavoured to suppress. His next venture was The Bride's Tragedy (1822), which had considerable success, and won for him the friendship of "Barry Cornwall." Thereafter he went to Göttingen and studied medicine. He then wandered about practising his profession, and expounding democratic theories which got him into trouble. He d. at Bale in mysterious circumstances. For some time before his death he had been engaged upon a drama, Death's Jest Book, which was published in 1850 with a memoir by his friend, T.F. Kelsall. B. had not the true dramatic instinct, but his poetry is full of thought and richness of diction. Some of his short pieces, e.g.: "If there were dreams to sell," and "If thou wilt ease thine heart," are masterpieces of intense feeling exquisitely expressed.