Walter Savage Landor

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Landor, Walter Savage,

1775–1864, English poet and essayist, educated at Oxford. After a quarrel with his father, he went to live in Wales, where he wrote the epic poem Gebir (1798). The middle and most productive years of his life were spent in Italy. There he wrote the greater portion of his voluminous prose work Imaginary Conversations (1824–53), consisting of nearly 150 dialogues between notables both ancient and modern. Landor's verse ranges from the epic to the epigrammatic, including many lyrics of great simplicity and intensity. His other works include Pericles and Aspasia (1836), Hellenics (1847), and Heroic Idylls (1863).


See his complete works (ed. by T. E. Welby and S. Wheeler, 16 vol., 1927–36); biography by M. Elwin (1970); bibliography by R. H. Super (1954).

Landor, Walter Savage


Born Jan. 30, 1775, in Warwick; died Sept. 17, 1864, in Florence. English writer.

Landor came from an aristocratic family. He published The Poems of Walter Savage Landor in 1795. His lifework expressed the vacillations and indecision of the bourgeois liberal. His most significant prose work was Imaginary Conversations (vols. 1–5, 1824–29), containing more than 150 dialogues between people of all eras on historical, sociopolitical, and literary themes. Landor became more of an aesthete in his later work; he also wrote poetry in Latin.


The Complete Works, vols. 1–16. Edited by T. E. Welby and S. Wheeler. London, 1927–36.
In Russian translation:
“Iunost’ Alkiviada.” Biblioteka dlia chteniia, 1836, vol. 18, part 2.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 2, issue 1. Moscow, 1953.
Super, R. H. W. S. Landor; A Biography. London [1957].
Pinsky, R. Landor’s Poetry. Chicago-London [1968].