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Thomas Lovell Beddoes (July 20, 1803 – January 26, 1849) was an English poet and dramatist.



Born in Clifton, Bristol, England, he was the son of Dr. Thomas Beddoes, a friend of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Anna, sister of Maria Edgeworth. He was educated at Charterhouse and Pembroke College, Oxford. He published in 1821 The Improvisatore, which he afterwards endeavoured to suppress. His next venture was The Bride's Tragedy (1822), a blank verse drama that was published and well reviewed, and won for him the friendship of Barry Cornwall.

Beddoes' work shows a constant preoccupation with death. In 1824, he went to Göttingen to study medicine, motivated by his hope of discovering physical evidence of a human spirit which survives the death of the body.[1] He was expelled, and then went to Würzburg to complete his training. At this period, he became involved with radical politics; this got him into trouble. He was deported from Bavaria in 1833, and had to leave Zürich, where he had settled, in 1840.

He continued to write, but published nothing.

He led an itinerant life after leaving Switzerland, returning to England only in 1846, before going back to Germany. He became increasingly disturbed, and committed suicide by poison at Basel, in 1849, at the age of 46.[2] For some time before his death, he had been engaged on a drama, Death's Jest Book, which was published in 1850 with a memoir by his friend, T. F. Kelsall. His Collected Poems were published in 1851.


  1. ^ Donner, 1950, pp. xxxvi-xxxvii.
  2. ^ Berns, Ute; Bradshaw, Michael, eds (2007). "Introduction". The Ashgate Research Companion to Thomas Lovell Beddoes. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.. pp. 8–9. ISBN 9780754660095. Retrieved August 29, 2009.  


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From Wikiquote

Thomas Lovell Beddoes (June 30, 1803January 26, 1849) was an English poet and dramatist.


  • A cypress-bough, and a rose-wreath sweet,
    A wedding-robe, and a winding-sheet,
    A bridal bed and a bier.
    Thine be the kisses, maid,
    And smiling Love’s alarms;
    And thou, pale youth, be laid
    In the grave’s cold arms.
    Each in his own charms,
    Death and Hymen both are here;
    So up with scythe and torch,
    And to the old church porch,
    While all the bells ring clear:
    And rosy, rosy the bed shall bloom,
    And earthy, earthy heap up the tomb.
    • A Cypress-Bough, and A Rose-Wreath Sweet, from The Poetical Works of Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1890)
  • Shivering in fever, weak, and parched to sand,
    My ears, those entrances of word-dressed thoughts,
    My pictured eyes, and my assuring touch,
    Fell from me, and my body turned me forth
    From its beloved abode: then I was dead;
    And in my grave beside my corpse I sat,
    In vain attempting to return
    • Dream of Dying, from The Poetical Works of Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1890)

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