Jane Austen


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Austen: Jane

Born: 16 December 1775, Steventon, England
Died: 18 July 1817, Winchester, England

Jane wrote only six novels, and such is the impact of her work that the formula she used is regarded as the basis for all romantic novels. Her novels must be amongst the most adapted to film and have been translated into nearly every language in the world! Her writing is epitomised by humour and wit, with astute observations made against the backdrop of the Georgian (Regency) period.


“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”


  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Persuasion
  • Emma
  • Northanger Abbey
  • Mansfield Park

Shelley – Percy Bysshe

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English Poet Shelley

SHELLEY: Percy Bysshe 1792 – 1822

Born: 4 August 1792 Horsham, Sussex
Died: 8 July 1822 Italy (Drowned)


Shelley’s second wife was Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. He went to Eton where he was bullied unmercifully and he took recourse in his imagination. He was expelled from Oxford for co-authoring a pamphlet titled The Necessity of Atheism. He eloped with 16 year old Harriet Westbrook and by the age of 21 had a daughter, but his wife bored him and he abandoned her! He then fell in love with Mary and due to her parent’s disapproval of the relationship chose to tour Europe with her for three years. On their return to the UK, Mary fell pregnant as did Harriet who promptly divorced him and later committed suicide. There is speculation that his death by drowning was not an accident.


“A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own.”
“When my cats aren’t happy, I’m not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they’re just sitting there thinking up ways to get even.”
“Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”

Selected Bibliography
Shelley wrote in excess of 300 poems in his short lifetime.

Poetry (* Famous poems)

* Ode to the West Wind: O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being
* Ozymandias: I met a traveller from an antique land
* Ode to a Skylark: Hail to thee, blithe spirit–
* The Cloud: I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers
* Good Night: Good night? Ah! No; the hour is ill which severs those it should unite

Byron – George Gordon

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English Poet

BYRON: George Gordon (Lord Byron) 1788 – 1824

Born: 22 January 1788 Dover, England
Died: 19 April 1824 Greece


He was born with a clubbed foot and in portraits this foot is always hidden. His father abandoned the family and died abroad and his mother was a rather moody and violent woman who later remarried. Byron’s writings reflected an extremely multifaceted personality and his poetry was more often than not an emotional reaction to events which affected him deeply. In modern day terms he would be regarded as being bisexual in his early years. He fell in love with his cousin, Mary Chaworth – a love that was not returned.. He did however have an affair with his halfsister, Augusta and had a number of illegitimate children, whom he did not acknowledge, from other affairs. He later married Annabella Milbanke who had once rejected his proposal but changed her mind. After the birth of their daughter she left Byron because of his “anger and violent utterances”. When adultery and charges of incest were added the couple had a legal separation.


“A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn’t know.”
“Absence – that common cure of love.”
“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.”

Selected Bibliography
Byron wrote nearly 300 poems

POETRY (* Famous poems)

*She walks in Beauty: She walks in Beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry
*The Destruction of Sennacherib: The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold
*The First Kiss of Love: Away with your fictions of flimsy romance
*To Time: Time! On whose arbitrary wing


Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice
The Two Foscari


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English Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834

Born: 21 October 1772, Ottery St Mary, Devon, UK
Died: 25 July 1834, Highgate, London, UK

Coleridge, along with his friend, Wordsworth was one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in poetry. He was an opium addict and it is thought that his failure to complete his fantastical poem Kubla Khan was due to him being interrupted while writing it. His best verse was written while in his twenties.


”In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.”
”The man’s desire is for the woman; but the woman’s desire is rarely other than for the desire of the man.”
”The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.”

Selected Bibliography (*Best known)


Coleridge wrote nearly 200 poems
*Kubla Khan: In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree : Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless
*The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three.


Coleridge was the son of a clergyman and had a lot to say about the relationship between church and state. His published intellectual contributions were expanded on by the likes of William Gladstone (a British Prime Minister) thereby raising the ire of the Whigs who disagreed with his propositions.