Thomas Love Peacock

(1785 - 1866 / England)

Biography of Thomas Love Peacock

Thomas Love Peacock poet

Thomas Love Peacock was born in 1785, in Dorset, at Weymouth. He was the son of a glass merchant, who died three years after he was born. He was raised at his grandfather's house in Chertsey, by his mother. Despite the fact that his formal schooling ended before his teens (he never attended a university), it is important to note that he read widely in five languages throughout his lifetime.

When he could no longer support himself without working, he took a job in 1819 with the East India Company. The next year, he married Jane Gryffydh, daughter to a Welsh rector. Peacock's daughter later married George Meredith, also a literary man.

Peacock mixed with many of his contemporary Romantic poets. He often openly criticized them, but this never gave him much trouble. His best known work is his satiricle prose. His novels consist chiefly of witty conversation with sparse action. The characters were often burlesque, but subtle imitations of famous men of his day.

In 1866, the hardheaded, tounge-in-cheeked Peacock died in his library at Halliford-on-Thames, after refusing to leave his precious books to burn.

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Sir Hornbook

I.

O'er bush and briar Childe Launcelot sprung
With ardent hopes elate,
And loudly blew the horn that hung
Before Sir Hornbook's gate.

The inner portals opened wide,
And forward strode the chief,

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