English Literature Of The 19th Century:
John Richard Green
Alexander William Kinglake
Poets Of The Later Victorian Period
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Sir Edwin Arnold
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( Originally Published Early 1900's )
When Lord Tennyson died in 1892, the question of the succession in the laureateship was widely discussed, and many critics urged the claims of William Watson. Unfortunately a mental trouble about that time required his removal to an asylum. He afterwards entirely recovered. Watson was born at Wharfdale, in Yorkshire, in 1850. His father was a Liverpool merchant. On account of delicate health, the boy was educated privately.
He became passionately fond of Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth. He had published two volumes before his "Wordsworth's Grave" (1892) brought him into general recognition. His tribute to Tennyson's memory "Lachrymae Musarum" (1892) secured for him, through Gladstone, a government pension of £200. "The Purple East," which was afterward enlarged into "The Year of Shame," was a series of sonnets, upbraiding the English for their neglect of the Armenians in 1896. These ringing sonnets recall Milton's vehement denunciation of the persecution of the Vaudois. Watson's later volumes are "The Tomb of Burns" and "The Father of the Forest."