Erechtheus: A Tragedy

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Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was a Victorian era English poet. His poetry was highly controversial in its day. He is considered a decadent poet. Many of his early and still admired poems evoke the Victorian fascination with the Middle Ages, and some of them are explicitly medieval in style, tone and construction, including The Leper, Laus Veneris, and St Dorothy. His mastery of vocabulary, rhyme and metre arguably put him among the most talented English language poets in history, although he has also been criticized for his florid style and word choices that only fit the rhyme scheme rather than contributing to the meaning of the piece. After the first Poems and Ballads, Swinburne's later poetry was devoted more to philosophy and politics. He did not stop writing love poetry entirely, but the content was less shocking. Amongst his other works are: A Century of Roundels (1883) and The Age of Shakespeare (1908).

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Про автора (2008)

Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne was born April 5, 1837 in Grosvenor Place, London, but spent most of his boyhood on the Isle of Wight, where both his parents and grandparents had homes. He was educated at Eton and Oxford University but was expelled from Oxford before he graduated. Although some of his work had already appeared in periodicals, Atalanta in Calydon was the first poem to come out under his name and was received enthusiastically. "Laus Veneris" and Poems and Ballads, with their sexually charged passages, were attacked all the more violently as a result. Swinburne's meeting in 1867 with his long-time hero Mazzini, led to the more political Songs before Sunrise. In 1879, with Swinburne nearly dead from alcoholism and dissolution, his legal advisor Theodore Watts-Dunton took him in, and was successful in getting him to adopt a healthier style of life. Swinburne lived the rest of his days at Watts-Dunton's house outside London. He saw less and less of his old friends, but his growing deafness accounts for some of his decreased sociability. He died of influenza in 1909.

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