"Toms Laocoön": A Newly Discovered Poem by Thomas Lovell Beddoes JOHN HAYDN BAKER in Rome for six months and Shelley was Byron's guest at Ravenna. Their rather younger contemporary Thomas Lovell Beddoes was staying with his friend, the Rev. Henry Card, at the somewhat less romantic location of Great Malvern, near Worcester. He was then eighteen years old and a highly intelligent youth of considerable promise. An undergraduate student at his father's old Oxford college, Pembroke, he was already a published (if not yet well-known) poet; his outrageously lurid Gothic volume, The Improvisatore, had appeared in March. His widowed mother, Anna Maria Beddoes, a younger sister of the novelist Maria Edgeworth, was living with her two daughters on the British island of Jersey off the French coast.1 Very little is known of Beddoes' time at Oxford. He would publish his precocious verse drama The Bride's Tragedy to considerable critical acclaim in 1822 and be awarded his B.A. in 1825, but further information about his undergraduate years is scarce. However, a letter of August 10, 1821, from his mother to her sister, Emmeline King, now on deposit in the Bodleian Library and hitherto unnoticed, sheds considerable light on Beddoes'
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Jan 10, 2002