Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859)
An unhappy pupil, Thomas de Quincey, still in his teens, dreamed of finding a happier environment for his literary ambitions than Manchester Grammar School. In 1802 he fled from it, and from the guardians who had taken over after his father, a prosperous but ailing merchant, died (1793). His mother (as her son described her) was a somewhat chilly presence, showing little sympathy for his imaginative interests. In partial compensation, the poetry of Wordsworth worked on him charm-like from the late 1790s on. De Quincey was confident that he had a talent for writing, and he believed it might flourish in the company of the Lake Poets, if only he could meet and be accepted by them.
KeywordsParadise Lost Personal Appearance Great Poet Solitary Time Literary Ambition
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