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Books & Periodicals

Biographies & Works

Published 1770 - todate

A gathering of the various books containing Chatterton's works and the many biographies produced over the years, stretching from 1770 to the present day. This is the one sure way to trace 'facts' to their source. 

Note: Magazines and Periodicals are not included on this page.  For Magazines and Periodicals : ...View

An Elegy on William Beckford  :  View

Thomas Chatterton, 1770.

The History of English Poetry, vol 2   :  View

  • A must read chapter dealing with 'Rowley's' works.

         Warton demonstrates clearly that Chatterton was Rowley.

Thomas Warton 1778

Love and Madness  :  View

        Much of what we know about Chatterton is  derived from the wonderful weirdness of this book.

Herbert Croft 1780 & 1786

Observations Upon the Poems of Thomas Rowley  View

In which the Authenticity of those Poems is Ascertained 

Jacob Bryant 1781

Cursory Observations on the Poems Attributed to Thomas Rowley  View

Edmund Malone 1782

A Vindication of the Appendix to the Poems, Called Rowley's : In Reply to...  View

Thomas Tyrwhitt 1782

Supplement to Chatterton's Miscellanies. Kew Gardens View

From a British Library transcript  : see Warren p.54

Seems to be a one off, with no textual authority.

No title page; editor unknown, date 1785?

Memoirs and Anecdotes...  

Title Page  :  View        Page 308  :  View     Page 318  :  View        Page 153  :  View

Philip Thicknesse  :  1788

The Life of Thomas Chatterton (Biographia Britannica v4, 2nd edition) View

  • The first full biography. 

        Chatterton appears four times in the preface to the 4th edition.

       He is added to v4 as an appendix to the names appearing under the letter 'C'.

The biography was Written by George Gregory, 1789 (see below)

The Life of Thomas Chatterton  :  View

  • The first separately printed full biography.

George Gregory 1789

Poems, Supposed to have been written at Bristol 

by Thomas Rowley and Others in the 15th century

  •  Contains Coleridge's Monody on the Death of Chatterton View

View 1794   -   View 1799

Lancelot Sharpe (Editor), 1794, 1799

The Revenge, A Burletta View


Thomas Chatterton,  1795

The Monthly Visitor  :   View (no portrait)

  • Biography and 'Goggle-Eyed' portrait : View portraits page, image no.1

  • The magazine was printed in 1797, 27 years after the death of Chatterton, and this magazine is adamant that he didn't write the poems of Rowley, see pages 5 - 20. 

  • An enjoyable read. 

H.D.Symonds, January 1797

Thomas Chatterton supposed portrait 1797.jpg

Original Poems of the Late Unfortunate Thomas Chatterton  :  No View

More and anecdote than a biography. Edward Gardner states that he knew Chatterton for the three months before he left Bristol.  Chatterton would have been 17, Gardner 13.

Edward Gardner 1798 (no link yet, photos due from my own copy)

Denkwurdigkeiten aus Chattertin's Leben  View

        With German translations of the following works:

Auswahl aus Chatterton's Dichtungen  :  View

(A selection of the works of Chatterton).

Eclogue 1, 2, 3 ; Elinoure and Juga ; A Ballad of the Mynstrelles ; Minstrelles Song ; Another Minstrelles Song (O! synge untoe mie roundelaie) ; An Exellent Ballad on Charitie

Brittisches Odeon 

Ludwig Theoboul Kosegartens  : 1800

Introduction to an Examination of...the Internal Evidence View

       respecting the Antiquity and Authenticity...Productions of an ingenious youth.

John Sherwen 1809

An Historical and Architectural Essay relating to Redcliffe Church   :   View

       The essay on Chatterton includes transcripts of his two letters to Dodsley,

        printed for the first time. 

John Britton  1813

A Chronological Outline of the History of Bristol  :  View

Chatterton's name appears on 25 pages.  

Mini-biography of Chatterton

First printing of Impromptu on the Immortality of the Soul.  View

D.S.Taylor prefers the version printed by George Pryce, see below  :  View

John Evans, 1824.

The works of John Dix

The Life of Chatterton (1837)  :  View

  • Complete with the infamous frontispiece portrait of 'Chatterton'

The Life of Chatterton (1851)  :  View

  • Second edition but this time without the portrait.

Pen and Ink Sketches: (1845)  :  View

John Dix, 1837, 1851

1842 Charles B. Wilcox

The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton

  • Notices of his Life. History of the Rowley Controversy.

        A delightful edition with a backstory to follow.

View volume 1    -    View volume 2

Charles B. Wilcox 1842

Pilgrimages to English Shrines  :  View

  • Chatterton's story begins on page 105.

  • There are some interesting images

Mrs. S .C. Hall  1850

Memorials Canynge

Memorials of the Canynges' Family...Memoranda...Chatterton  :  View 

  • Second printing of Impromptu on the Immortality of the Soul.  View


         D.S.Taylor, p. 1133, regards this version as probably being direct from the original

        and prefers it to the Evans version, although he collates both to arrive at the version he uses in his book.

George Pryce  1854

Chatterton: A Story of the Year 1770 View

             (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 1856

The Works of Thomas Chatterton

View volume 1 (1857)   :   View volume 2 (1863)


Boston: Little, Brown and Company 1857

Fact versus Fiction :  View

A Descent Among Writers on Bristol History & Biography

Includes an interview with Chatterton's niece etc.

George Pryce: pub. 1858

The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton

with a memoir by Edward Bell  :  

View volume 1       View volume 2 

Walter Skeat (with a memoir by Edward Bell) 1871

A Book About Bristol (title page)  :  View

  • The Poet Chatterton (chapter in the above)  : View

         A chapter on Chatterton and mentions him on numerous occasions in the book.

John Taylor,  (Librarian of the Bristol Museum and Library), 1872 

David Masson Chatterton: A Story of the Year 1770

The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton  :  View
John Richmond 1886

The Love Letters of Mr H & Miss R.  View

  • Based on Love and Madness by H. Croft

Gilbert Burgess (Editor)  1895

The Rowley Poems of Thomas Chatterton  :


View volume 1    :    View volume 2

Robert Steele & Charles Ricketts   1898

Limited to 200 copies - The Vale Press

Ricketts The Rowleie Poems of Thomas Chatterton vol 1
Ricketts The Rowleie Poems of Thomas Chatterton vol  2

Bristol and its Famous Associations  :  View

  • A chapter on Chatterton;

    • Includes the first printing of photographs of Chatterton's 'Will.' 

    • The first published images of Burgum and of Catcott.

Stanley Hutton 1907

Thomas Chatterton, The Marvelous Boy View

  • A Biography of Chatterton by a Pulitzer prize winner.

Charles Edward Russell 1908

The True Chatterton, John Ingram 1910

The True ChattertoView

  • A Biography of Chatterton from one of the protagonists in the Chatterton Family Bible saga

John Ingram 1910

The Rowley Poems by Thomas Chatterton  :  View

Reprinted from Tyrwhitt's Third Edition

Maurice Evan Hare 1911

New Lights on Chatterton View

  • A lecture given by Ernest Clarke December 21st 1914.

        (In Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, volume XIII, 1916, pages 219 - 251)

This rather exciting and interesting lecture includes Clarke's telling of his discovery and purchase of Dr Fry's copy-book of Chatterton's works (an extra copy which Fry copied against the wishes of Catcott).  He also regales us with the story of the rediscovery of the following manuscripts :  To John Lydgate [Ladgate];  Songe to Aella;  John Lydgates Answer [Ladgates] ; The “Yellow Roll”,  &  Englandes Glorye.   Two Collotype images of the manuscripts are included.  View Dr Fry's page in the Chatterton Manuscript Project

Ernest Clarke 1914

Thomas Chatterton, The Marvelous Boy..."The Exhibition"...: No View

Esther Parker Ellinger 1930 (no Link)


A Life of Thomas Chatterton View

  • The definitive Life of Chatterton.  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. 

E. H. W. Meyerstein 1930

The Marvellous Boy   :  No view

Ernst Penzoldt - Translated by J. Trounstine 1931

Thomas Chatterton  View

  • A Short Biography of 15 pages.

Basil Cottle 1963

Thomas Chatterton. Bicentenary studies 1770-1970   :   View

  • Unpublished material on his life. A short unpublished text by Th. Chatterton  ??

Georges Lamoine, 1971  [Note. I have issues with this publication and will update when I have time to check it].

Taylor 1971

The Complete Works of Thomas Chatterton :

  • A stunning and indispensable work  - where would we be without it! 

  • Oxford Scholarly Editions, have an OCR'd edition of the two volumes online (View it here), which I can't get access to (I'm a pleb you see). However, I do own a hard copy of the two volumes and have now applied Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to the Contents List; Glossary; First Lines of Verse; and some of the other supporting pages, which, if you have a hard copy yourself and are also a bit of a pleb it will help you no end!  

So, to be clear, this is not an OCR’d version of the complete two volumes; instead it is an enhanced transcription of selected support pages to Taylor’s two volumes  :  View it here

Donald S. Taylor 1971

(In common parlance D.S.T would be the GOAT, but the living GOAT or GOOT would be Prof. Nick Groom)

The Marvelous Boy. The Life and Myth of Thomas Chatterton No View

  • I like this edition, even though the opening page has his 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.

Linda Kelly, 1971

The Forger's Shadow (2002 :  View

  • 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!  Nick is 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 2002.      Available to buy at Abebooks

Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, 19 May 2022 :  View

Thomas Chatterton: four ways of literary terra-forming, by Nick Groom.

  • I've just happened upon this lecture by Nick. The first lecture in this series of lectures was back in 1955 by Lionel Butler, when his subject was - aptly enough- E H W Meyerstein. 


  • The Chatterton series of lectures was established thanks to a bequest from E H W Meyerstein himself,  which is, I suppose, Meyerstein's piece of 'Pewter Plate, writ large in Latin and stuffed into the 'dreaming spires' of academia' - see what I did there?'

Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive View

A project to gather online all 18th century poetry - including Chatterton's works.

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).  Although, as of 2023, AI might just change the quaility of the search result and learn that the long 'S', which looks like a lowercase F, is actually an 's'.

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