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Thomas Lovell Beddoes. Biography
Thomas Lovell Beddoes (30 June 1803 – 26 January 1849) was an English poet, dramatist and physician.
Born in Clifton, Bristol, England, he was the son of Dr. Thomas Beddoes, a friend of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Anna, sister of Maria Edgeworth. He was educated at Charterhouse and Pembroke College, Oxford. He published in 1821 "The Improvisatore", which he afterwards endeavoured to suppress. His next venture, a blank-verse drama called "The Bride's Tragedy" (1822), was published and well reviewed, and won for him the friendship of Barry Cornwall.
Beddoes' work shows a constant preoccupation with death. In 1824, he went to Göttingen to study medicine, motivated by his hope of discovering physical evidence of a human spirit which survives the death of the body. He was expelled, and then went to Würzburg to complete his training. He then wandered about practising his profession, and expounding democratic theories which got him into trouble. He was deported from Bavaria in 1833, and had to leave Zürich, where he had settled, in 1840.
He continued to write, but published nothing.
He led an itinerant life after leaving Switzerland, returning to England only in 1846, before going back to Germany. He became increasingly disturbed, and committed suicide by poison at Basel, in 1849, at the age of 45.
For some time before his death he had been engaged on a drama, "Death's Jest Book", which was published in 1850 with a memoir by his friend, T. F. Kelsall. His "Collected Poems" were published in 1851.
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