Poets : Martin Rieser and Elizabeth Parker Chatterton at St Mary Redcliffe's past and Present
Thomas Chatterton (20 November 1752 – 24 August 1770) was an English poet whose precocious talents ended in suicide at age 17. He was an influence on Romantic artists of the period such as Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Although fatherless and raised in poverty, Chatterton was an exceptionally studious child, publishing mature work by the age of 11. He was able to pass off his work as that of an imaginary 15th-century poet called Thomas Rowley, chiefly because few people at the time were familiar with medieval poetry, though he was denounced by Horace Walpole.
At 17, he sought outlets for his political writings in London, having impressed the Lord Mayor, William Beckford, and the radical leader John Wilkes, but his earnings were not enough to keep him, and he poisoned himself in despair.
Poem on Chatterton's life by Martin Rieser. Read by Judith Rieser
Contemporary Poem on Chatterton by Elizabeth Parker
Background music by Edias
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