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Biographis and Works
Tyrwhitt 1777

 Biographies & Works

(Published 1770 - 2022+)


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. 

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

An Elegy on William Beckford  :  No link yet  

(I will upload my own copy when I find the time).

Thomas Chatterton, 1770.

Love and Madness  :  View.

All editions with basic analysis. Much of what we know about Chatterton derive from the wonderful weirdness of Herbert Croft's 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

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?

The Life of Thomas Chatterton (1789)  :  View

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 : 1789

The Life of Thomas Chatterton  :  View

The first separate full biography.

George Gregory 1789

Poems, Supposed to have been written at Bristol  :  see below

by Thomas Rowley and Others in the 15th century

(Contains Coleridge's Monody on the Death of Chatterton).

View 1794   -   View 1799

Lancelot Sharpe (Editor)

The Revenge, A Burletta  :  View

by Thomas Chatterton

Published 1795

The Monthly Visitor  :  View

Bio and 'Goggle-Eyed' portrait.

It is now 26 years since the death of Chatterton, and this magazine is adamant that he didn't write the poems of Rowley, see pages 5 - 20. Practically everything we know about anything is derivative, especially this bio, but it is still 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.

He 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)

Denkwurdigkeiten aus Chattertin's Leben View 

Chatterton Leben, (Life of) : 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...

John Sherwen 1809

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

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

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

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

The Poet Chatterton (chapter)  : View

A Book About Bristol (title page)  :  View

A chapter on Chatterton, and mentions him elsewhere on numerous occasions.

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

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

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  :  View

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

The link to this book is on the wonderful Ex-Classics website  View

Reprinted from Tyrwhitt's Third Edition

Edited, with an introduction, by 

Maurice Evan Hare 1911

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

The Complete Works of Thomas Chatterton

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

Oxford Scholarly Editions have an OCR'd edition online, which I can't get access to (I'm a pleb you see).

However, I do own a hard copy and have now OCR'd the Contents list etc, which, if you have a hard copy yourself and are also a pleb, it will help you no end!  View

Donald S. Taylor 1971 (in common parlance he would be the GOAT)

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

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.

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

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).

The True Chatterton, John Ingram 1910
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