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).
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.
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.
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
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
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 essay includes transcripts of Chatterton's two letters to Dodsley, printed for the firs time.
John Britton: pub. 1813
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
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
To which is added "The Exhibition" A Personal Satire
Esther Parker Ellinger: pub. 1930 (no Link - sorry)
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
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
Count your blessings that this edition is not available online. It takes only one page or so before Kaplan talks about the penis - it is so easy to make judgments from a distance of six inches, sorry, I mean 200 years (This is not my favourite book or author).
Louise J. Kaplan: pub. 1988
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.
Novels - Works of Imagination - Click to View
When searching a specific word
in an online volume
You will sometimes get
a negative result
Even though the word
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).