Do you Know Anything
of the Chatterton Story?
I know it is full of confusion
& conflicting views!
I know he was born in Bristol
& I know he did forgeries
and killed himself in London.
The Beginning & The End All neatly wrapped up!
..and so to bed,
Where Chatterton laid his head
Never to rise again!
On the night of the 24th August 1770,
Chatterton swallowed a Potion
To cure a commotion
He then laid his head
On the pillow of his pallet bed
He was 12 weeks short
Of his 18th birthday!
But that is not the end
Not even close to the end;
In fact it was the start of it all!
Chatterton became famously famous
Dozens of books were writ
Plays have been played
From Spain to France
From England to America
Paintings were painted
Engravings were engraved
Pots were turned -it's true, I have one
& Handkerchiefs were printed.
Chatterton was the Talk of the Town
& Country (magazine)
His story went viral worldwide.
A Poor Uneducated Working Class
Charity School Boy Pfft!
Produce such works - What!
He became the Darling of the Romantics
A true Influencer of his own times & beyond.
He Created a Medieval world
Complete with Buildings
& Heroes and Villains &
Adapted the English language
To suit his new World
All without the Help of
RPG or CGI
Whatever that is!
Although he did have a candle
For those dark evenings
More importantly he was
A Mother's Son
A Cheeky Monkey
A Sister's Brother
The Main Aim of the Project
To Present Images of all
& First Printings
Always the Source
Never the Interpretation
That being said
I listened as Prof. Nick Groom
Recited & Explained an African Eclogue
By Chatterton - A true delight!
And an eye opener!
Of the Chatterton
One of Chatterton's Most Famous Works.
Bristows Tragedy or
The Death of Sr Charles Bawdin
Was published in the 1776 edition of
'The Annual Register'
The American Declaration of Independence.
Appeared in the Same Volume.
Bristows Tragedy or the Death of Sr Charles Bawdin.
Composed by Chatterton in 1768.
Is this the original manuscript or a copy?
Some people say original, others say copy!
Compare the handwriting - what is your opinion?
A good one to investigate & research
Within the project - see Menu at top of page.
From Old Ballads 1784, by Thomas Evans
It's the first poem in Volume 2, and was published as 'Rowlie's,' with no mention of Chatterton.
A new edition appeared in 1810 without 'Rowlie's' works.
Was A loving Son and Brother,
With an "Accelerated Mentality"
(a 1920s Bristolian phrase?).
It is clear that our Working-Class Lad had
Exceptional and Extraordinary Abilities
But we should also note that
His life is as important as his works
For to truly appreciate the song,
You must also appreciate the singer!
It is time to reclaim Chatterton
An amazing young poet,
A bit of a Wag