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Writers and poets who were born or died in London during the 19th century

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19th Century
In 1810 Elizabeth Gaskell was born as Elizabeth Stevenson at 93 Cheyne Walk in Chelsea. In 1832 she moved to Manchester where she saw first-hand the conditions in which people worked and lived in one of Britain's major industrial centres. It was these experiences which she used to write her novels.

Elizabeth Gaskell
The Gaskell Society



The poet Robert Browning was born in Camberwell in 1812.

Robert Browning


Never the time and the place
And the loved one all together!

Never the Time and the Place (1842)

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?

Andrea del Sarto (1855)



The writer Anthony Trollope was born in London in 1815 and died in the capital in 1882. He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.

Anthony Trollope Anthony Trollope
Famous London cemeteries


Those who have courage to love should have courage to suffer.

The Bertrams (1859)

A man's mind will very generally refuse to make itself up until it be driven and compelled by emergency.

Ayala's Angel (1881)

Three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write.

Autobiography (1883)

It is admitted that a novel can hardly be made interesting or successful without love ... It is necessary because the passion is one which interests or has interested all. Everyone feels it, has felt it, or expects to feel it.
Autobiography (1883)



The poet Matthew Arnold was born in Laleham, Middlesex in 1822 and was buried at the parish church of All Saints' in 1888.

Matthew Arnold


Not deep the Poet sees, but wide.
Resignation (1849)



In 1824 Wilkie Collins was born as William Wilkie Collins in London. He wrote the novels The Woman in White and The Moonstone; the first English mystery books written. He died in London in 1889 and is buried at Kensal Green Cemetary.

Wilkie Collins
Famous London cemeteries



The poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born as Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti at 110 Hallam Street, Westminster in 1828.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti



His sister the poet Christina Rossetti was born in London in 1830 and died at her home at 30 Torrington Square in Camden in 1894. She is buried at Highgate Cemetary.

Christina Rossetti
Famous London cemeteries


Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land.

Remember (1862)

Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Remember (1862)



In 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died at Highgate, his home for the last eighteen years of his life. He is also buried there.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Friends of Coleridge


The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out;
At one stride comes the dark.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)



The writer William Makepeace Thackeray died in London in 1863. He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.

William Makepeace Thackeray
Famous London cemeteries



The children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was born as Helen Beatrix Potter in South Kensington in 1866.

Beatrice Potter



The suspense writer Edgar Wallace was found abandoned at the age of nine days in Greenwich in 1875. He was named Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace.



E.M. Forster, author of Howards End and A Passage to India, was born as Edward Morgan Forster in London in 1879.

E.M. Forster E.M. Forster later in life
Music and Meaning - The E.M. Forster website


There is much good luck in the world, but it is luck. We are none of us safe. We are children, playing or quarrelling on the line.

The Longest Journey (1907)

Personal relations are the important thing for ever and ever, and not this outer life of telegrams and anger.
Howards End (1910)



The author of Middlemarch George Eliot, died at her home at 4 Cheyne Walk in Chelsea in 1880 and was buried at Highgate Cemetary.

George Eliot
Famous London cemeteries


"Character" says Novalis, in one of his questionable aphorisms - "character is destiny."

The Mill on the Floss (1860)



Virginia Woolf was born as Adeline Virginia Stephen in London in 1882.

Virginia Woolf  Virginia Woolf  Virginia Woolf
  Virginia Woolf
The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain


Each had his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart; and his friends could only read the title.

Jacob's Room (1922)

This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room.
A Room of One's Own (1929)



The historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle died in 1881 at his home in Cheyne Row where he had lived since moving to London in 1834. He was buried in Scotland in Ecclefechan in Dumfriesshire, the village of his birth.

Thomas Carlyle
Cheyne Row



The creator of Winnie the Pooh the children's author A.A. Milne, was born as Alan Alexander Milne in St John's Wood in 1882.

A.A. Milne A.A. Milne



The writer Robert Graves was born in London in 1895. He died in 1985 in Deyá on the island of Majorca where he had lived - except during the Second World War - since 1931.

Robert Graves


His eyes are quickened so with grief,
He can watch a grass or leaf
Every instant grow; he can
Clearly through a flint wall see,
Or watch the startled spirit flee
From the throat of a dead man.
Lost Love (1921)



The poet Edmund Blunden was born in London in 1896. He grew up in rural Kent and many of his poems dealt with life in the country. He also wrote some of the best war poetry about his experiences surviving the First World War.

Edmund Blunden
The First World War



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