Theodore Watts-Dunton

(1832-1914 / England)

Theodore Watts-Dunton
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Theodore Watts-Dunton (12 October 1832 - 6 June 1914) was an English critic and poet. He is often remembered as the friend and minder of Algernon Charles Swinburne, whom he rescued from alcoholism.

Walter Theodore Watts was born at St. Ives in what was then Huntingdonshire. He added his mother's name of Dunton to his surname in 1897.

He was originally educated as a naturalist, and saw much of the East Anglian Gypsies, of whose superstitions and folk-lore he made careful study. Abandoning natural history for the law, he qualified as a solicitor and went to London, where he practised for some years, giving his spare time to his chosen pursuit of literature. One of his ... more »

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Best Poem of Theodore Watts-Dunton

Wassail Chorus At The Mermaid Tavern

CHRISTMAS knows a merry, merry place,
   Where he goes with fondest face,
   Brightest eye, brightest hair:
Tell the Mermaid where is that one place,

Raleigh. 'Tis by Devon's glorious halls,
   Whence, dear Ben, I come again:
Bright of golden roofs and walls--
   El Dorado's rare domain--

   Seem those halls when sunlight launches
   Shafts of gold thro' leafless branches,
Where the winter's feathery mantle blanches ...

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