Wordsworth, Wordsmith

Once again, it’s been a while since we celebrated a birthday here on the Armchair Anglophile, so let’s light a candle for one of the greatest British poets: William Wordsworth, who was born 7 April 1770 at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, Cumberland. Little William received a thorough grounding in the great poets from an early age and was given the run of his father’s library. … Continue reading Wordsworth, Wordsmith

Happy Birthday, Emily Bronte

On 30 July 1818, Emily Bronte, future novelist and poet, came into the world in Thornton, in Yorkshire. She was the fifth of six children born to Maria Branwell and Patrick Bronte; her siblings included Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, and Anne, all of whom made their literary marks on the world before their untimely deaths. The Bronte siblings grew up in Haworth, where their father was … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Emily Bronte

Paradise Lost

Here’s someone who seriously needed a good agent: On April 27, 1667 impoverished writer John Milton sold the copyright for one of the most famous works in all of English literature, Paradise Lost, for £10 (though, to be fair, that was worth quite a bit more back then than it is now—about £15,000). Milton lived in a turbulent time—he was born just at the start … Continue reading Paradise Lost

The Lady Poet

On March 6, 1806, at Coxhoe Hall in County Durham, England, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, one of the Victorian era’s most celebrated poets, took her first breaths. The eldest child of a wealthy family, she was mostly raised at a 500-acre estate called Hope End in Ledbury, Hertfordshire, which would later inspire her work Aurora Leigh. Elizabeth was a studious, precocious child who was already studying … Continue reading The Lady Poet

Poet Laureate

Happy birthday, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson. The former Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom was born on August 6, 1809. Tennyson was the fourth of 12 children born to a rector who had an artistic bent himself, being fairly talented at architecture, painting, music, and poetry. He also attended carefully to his children’s education and had Alfred and two of his elder brothers writing … Continue reading Poet Laureate