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].
References in classic literature ?
The only thing that made life worth living was the thought of Walter Savage Landor, from whose IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS she had promised to read at frequent intervals during the day.
Walter Savage Landor, 19th century English writer and poet.
Walter Savage Landor an English writer says we talk on principle, but we act on interest.
etc It's a small but vivid selection which also has verse by Walter Savage Landor and John Masefield who, as we all know, as well as being a poet was involved with Sir Barry Jackson in the creating of the original Birmingham Rep.
A century earlier, 19th-century poet Walter Savage Landor famously declared Swansea Bay to be better both than the Bay of Naples and its less well-known neighbour the Gulf of Salerno Similarly, Neath-born mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins described Three Cliffs Bay on Swansea's Gower Peninsula as giving her "the feeling of being hugged".
It is a play of its time with a living room set, the char providing comic relief, a ponderous detective, a much mentioned poetic quotation from the now little known Walter Savage Landor and lots of earnest debate.
Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) was a celebrated English poet who wrote many poems in Latin, and Rudd was dissatisfied with the modern editions and translations, the most reputable of which, two massive volumes, was too expensive for almost anyone to buy.
In fact, the first sentence of the latest one plainly states a variant of the same essential agenda: "In this study, I consider how dramas by Joanna Baillie, novels by Walter Scott and Imaginary Conversations by Walter Savage Landor perform a kind of social work comparable to the work undertaken by Jane Addams and other 'Settlers' who developed an interventionist sociology in the pre-disciplinary era before theory and practice were separated" (7).
8; and Jonathan Usher's lively piece on Walter Savage Landor snatches from oblivion's maw one of Boccaccio's most ardent, eccentric, and outspoken English admirers.
To identify characters in Bleak House based on Leigh Hunt and Walter Savage Landor is to assume that readers who need an introduction to Dickens would already know who Hunt and Landor were, an unlikely assumption.
The original inscription which was ordered by Landor's family upon his death, we are told, was covered sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s by "a flat marble slab [that] has been laid over the poet's grave" and on which were inscribed "two of the thirteen quatrains of Swinburne's poem 'In Memory of Walter Savage Landor.
St Mary's Church has an exhibition by Leamington author Jean Field on Walter Savage Landor and Fulke Greville.