Books & Periodicals
Biographies & Works
Published 1770 - todate
Discover Chatterton's Life & Works and get a feel for how he was viewed through the ages. Starting from 1770, below, to the present day at the foot the page. This is not a list of Chatterton's works, although they are all included in the publications listed below. The list also makes it easier to trace 'facts' to their source.
An Elegy on William Beckford : View
Thomas Chatterton, 1770.
Thomas Chatterton, 1770.
Thomas Tyrwhitt 1777, 1778
This is a must read chapter dealing with 'Rowley's' works.
Warton demonstrates clearly that Chatterton was Rowley.
Thomas Warton 1778
Horace Walpole 1779
Much of what we know about Chatterton is derived from the wonderful weirdness of this book.
Herbert Croft 1780 & 1786
In which the Authenticity of those Poems is Ascertained
Jacob Bryant 1781
Jeremiah Milles, D.D 1782
Thomas Tyrwhitt 1782
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?
William Barrett : 1789
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 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
Lancelot Sharpe (Editor)
Bio and 'Goggle-Eyed' portrait.
This book 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
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.
Gardner was a friend of Edward Jenner, and wrote an essay, Observations on the Utility of inoculating for the variolae vaccinae, or cow-pox, published 1801 : View
Edward Gardner 1798 (no link yet, photos due from my own copy)
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
Southey, Cottle & Gregory 1803
respecting the Antiquity and Authenticity...Productions of an ingenious youth.
John Sherwen 1809
The essay on Chatterton includes transcripts of his two letters to Dodsley,
printed for the first time.
John Britton 1813
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
Complete with the infamous frontispiece portrait of 'Chatterton'
Second edition but this time without the portrait.
Dix wrote many books
John Dix, 1837, 1851
Pagnon (translator), Life by Callet 1839
The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton
Notices of his Life. History of the Rowley Controversy.
A delightful edition with a backstory to follow.
Charles B. Wilcox 1842
Chatterton's story begins on page 105.
There are some interesting images
Mrs. S .C. Hall 1850
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 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
Boston: Little, Brown and Company 1857
Stephen N. Elrington: pub. 1864
The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton
with a memoir by Edward Bell :
Walter Skeat (with a memoir by Edward Bell) 1871
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
Based on Love and Madness by H. Croft
Gilbert Burgess (Editor) 1895
Robert Steele & Charles Ricketts 1898
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
A Biography of Chatterton by a Pulitzer prize winner.
Charles Edward Russell 1908
A Biography of Chatterton from one of the protagonists in the Chatterton Family Bible saga
John Ingram 1910
Reprinted from Tyrwhitt's Third Edition
Maurice Evan Hare 1911
Thomas Chatterton, The Marvelous Boy..."The Exhibition"...: No View
Esther Parker Ellinger 1930 (no Link)
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
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].
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 Family Romance of the Impostor-Poet Thomas Chatterton : View
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).
Louise J. Kaplan 1988
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).
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?'
A project to gather online all 18th century poetry - including Chatterton's works.
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'.