Works & Biographies


First: A Mini Biography!


Chatterton's Short Life lasted from 1752 to 1770.

A total of 17 years 9 months.  A Bald and stark statement of a tiny existence :  -17 years and 9 months-

Break it down and it becomes truly stark:

Born 20th November 1752

260 Weeks:  As a Pre-School Child in Bristol.

4 Weeks: At Pile Street Charity School. Expelled, too dull to learn at just 5 or 6 years of age.

109 Weeks :  'Home Schooled' by his mother, Sarah, & sister, Mary.

359 Weeks : 'Imprisoned' as a pupil at Colston's Boarding School

(Basic education to suit his future work as a Scrivener; reading, writing, accounts, maths, along with religious indoctrination).

143 Weeks: 

As an unpaid Scrivener at Lambert's Solicitors and lodging at Lambert's house, sharing a room with another boy.

37 days : In Shoreditch, London, sharing a bed with the son of  his relative Mrs Ballance.

85 days: 

In Brooke Street, Holborn, London (privacy at last), lodging in the attic room in which he died, in the house of Mrs Angel, a Sacque Maker.  Died 24th / 25th August 1770!

A short life indeed!  But as short as it was he still got his wish to have his name blown about the world. His fame reached many countries & stretched across the centuries. 

Not bad for a poet who was 'But a boy!'

 Works & Biographies 

(Published 1770 - 2022+)

Discover Chatterton's Life & Works

See how he was viewed through the ages


The following list of books

In date order from 1770 to the present day.

Note: Separate page for Magazines and Periodicals 


Magazines and Periodicals are not included here, they can be accessed via the Main Menu : 

Chatterton's Life (timeline) for Magazines during his life.

Magazines & Periodicals after 24th August 1770.

An Elegy on William Beckford

No link yet - QE! will upload his own copy soon.


Thomas Chatterton: published 1770

The Execution of Sir Charles Bawdin - No link yet.

Thomas Eagles (editor): pub. 1772

Miscellanies in Prose and Verse

John Broughton: pub. 1778

Love and Madness.

Editions with basic analysis.

Shown as separate 'chapters for ease of viewing.

Much of what we know about Chatterton derive from

the Wonderful Weirdness of Herbert Croft's book, Love and Madness.

Herbert Croft: pub. 1780 & 1786

Supplement to Chatterton's Miscellanies. Kew Gardens.

From a British Library Transcript  : see Warren p.54

The Life of Thomas Chatterton (1789)

The first full biography, Biographia Britannica Vol 4. (1789).

(It starts with the phrase; 'Appendix to Letter C. No. 1, Vol 3,

page 450,' which is to follow if I can find it)

George Gregory: pub.1789

The Life of Thomas Chatterton

(The First Separate Full biography)

George Gregory: pub.1789

Poems, Supposed to have been written at Bristol.

(Contains Coleridge's Monody)

Lancelot Sharpe (editor): pub. 1794  & 1799

The Revenge, A Burletta by Thomas Chatterton

 C. Roworth (editor): pub 1795

Original Poems of the Late Unfortunate Thomas Chatterton

More and anecdote than a biography.

Edward claims to have known Chatterton

For the three months before he left Bristol.

No link yet  - photos due from my own copy.

Edward Gardner. pub. 1798

The Life of Thomas Chatterton

John Davis: pub. 1806?

An Historical and Architectural Essay relating to Redcliffe Church...Also an Essay on the Life and Character of Thomas Chatterton.

The essay includes transcripts of Chatterton's two letters to Dodsley, printed for the firs time.

John Britton: pub. 1813

The Life of Chatterton (1837)

Pen and Ink Sketches: (1845)

The Life of Chatterton (1851)

Three editions by the controversial biographer

John Dix: pub. 1837; 1845; 1851

The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton

Notices of his Life. History of the Rowley Controversy.

A selection of his letters.....Volume 1     Volume 2

Charles B. Wilcox: pub. 1842

Chatterton: A Story of the Year 1770

(In: Essays Chiefly on English Poets)

Chatterton is in illustrious company in this volume of essays, which includes Shakespeare; Milton, & Wordsworth.

The Chatterton essay in this collection has a few errors, which were corrected when Masson published a volume dedicated to Chatterton in 1874 - see lower down. 


David Masson: pub. 1856

Chatterton: an Essay

S. R. Maitland: pub. 1857

The Life of Thomas Chatterton, The Poet

James R. Bennett: pub. 1860

Chatterton: A Biographical Study

Daniel Wilson: pub 1869

The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton

& a memoir by Edward Bell

Volume         Volume 2 


Walter Skeat: pub. 1871

Chatterton: A Story of the Year 1770


David Masson: pub. 1874

Bristol and its Famous Associations

It has a chapter on Chatterton, which includes the first printing of photographs of Chatterton's 'Will.'

Also, the first published images of Burgum and Catcott.

Stanley Hutton: pub. 1907

Thomas Chatterton, The Marvelous Boy

A Biography of Chatterton by a Pulitzer prize winner.

Charles Edward Russell: pub. 1908

The True Chatterton

A Biography of Chatterton

From one of the protagonists in

 The Chatterton Family Bible Saga

John Ingram: pub. 1910

Thomas Chatterton, The Marvelous Boy

To which is added "The Exhibition" A Personal Satire

Esther Parker Ellinger: pub. 1930 (no Link - sorry)

A Life of Thomas Chatterton


This is the definitive Life of Chatterton. Unfortunately, it seems to be available online only to those who move in academic circles. Although there can't be too many Dons reading it online, as most of them were killed off in Morse and Endeavour. 

To overcome this difficulty (not the missing Dons but the lack of an online copy available to all) I have photographed every one of the 800 odd pages in Meyerstein's autograph manuscript copy. The link in the title above will take you to my page dedicated to Meyerstein.  Available to buy online but expensive.


E. H. W. Meyerstein: pub. 1930

The Marvellous Boy


(no link yet)

Ernst Penzoldt - Translated by J. Trounstine : pub. 1931

Thomas Chatterton


A Short Biography of 15 pages.

Basil Cottle: pub. 1963

The Marvelous Boy. 

The Life and Myth of Thomas Chatterton.

I like this edition, even though the opening page of the Life has Chatterton's year of birth as 1753, and the later edition failed to correct this error. It actually put me off from reading the book. However, nearly twenty years on from first buying it, I finally put my picky, prickly attitude to one side and really enjoyed the book and found it informative.  (No link yet  - cheap enough on ebay.

Linda Kelly: pub. 1971

The Forger's Shadow (2002)

The love that Nick has for the subject is palpable and, of course, Chatterton looms large throughout the book, including images of the death of Chatterton on the front and back endpapers. What I like, too, is that it covers so many layers of the art of 'forgery' in literature. This is what I really like; learning something new at the same time as being entertained. Finally, extra thanks go to Nick for including that indispensable thing; an index - ooh, I just love a good index, I do, I do!

Standing on the shoulders of Meyerstein's index, from his: A Life of Thomas Chatterton, which contains the scariest index ever written!   No link for online reading.

Nick Groom: pub. 2002.      Available to buy at Abebooks

Novels - Works of Imagination - Click to View

Heads Up!

When searching a specific word

in an online volume

You will sometimes get

a negative result

Even though the word

is present!

The function finds it difficult

to recognise some words

Due to faded or foxed type,

Or when the long S is used

(see image below).