Sir William Gell’s Later Years
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In retaliation for Gell’s loyalty to Caroline the government cancelled his pension, which Caroline had intended to be his for life. He found other means to maintain his lifestyle in Naples where he became an intellectual ornament to the city. Writers, artists, and scholars sought him out for information and good company. He became known as a clearing house of ideas, freely imparting his vast store of knowledge. “I glory in communicating all the new discoveries,” he boasted to his friend, the Scottish polymath Thomas Young. There were memorable visits from such luminaries as Sir Walter Scott, Jean François Champollion, and many others. Though increasingly and painfully debilitated, Gell remained intellectually active until his death in February 1836.