Algernon Swinburne

Author: Algernon Swinburne

Profile: Algernon Charles Swinburne, better known as Algernon Swinburne was a poet, novelist, playwright and critic. He was born in London, England and died in London, England. He completed his education at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford. He has been pioneer of the Decadent movement and pre-Raphaelite literary movement. His most notable work is Poems and Ballads. Algernon Charles Swinburne grew up at East Dene in Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight. The family also had a home in London at Whitehall Gardens, Westminister. Though he was frail and nervous in his childhood he always remained fired up with fearlessness and nervous energy to the extent of being careless. He began writing poetry while attending Eton College when he worn first prizes in Italian and French.


Writing style: Algernon Swinburne has written a number of poetry collections and novels and has been contributor to the popular Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Many taboo topics like anti-theism, lesbianism, sado-masochism and cannibalism have been written by Swinburne. A number of motifs like time, ocean and death are commonly seen in his poems like Jesus (Hymn to Proserpine), Anactoria, Sappho, Catullus and Galilaee.

Published Texts:

Verse drama

1860 – The Queen Mother

1860- Rosamond

1865 – Chastelard

1874 – Bothwell

1881 – Mary Stuart

1885 – Marino Faliero

1887 – Locrine

1892 – The Sisters

1899 – Rosamund, Queen of the Lombards


1865 – Atalanta in Calydon

1866 – Poems and Ballads

1871 – Songs Before Sunrise

1875 – Songs of Two Nations

Read realted notes  John Donne

1876 – Erechtheus

1878 – Poems and Ballads, Second Series

1880 – Songs of the Springtides

1880 – Studies in Song

1880 – The Heptalogia, or the Seven against Sense. A Cap with Seven Bells

1882 – Tristram of Lyonesse

1883 – A Century of Roundels

1884 – A Midsummer Holiday and Other Poems

1889 – Poems and Ballads, Third Series

1894 – Astrophel and Other Poems

1896 – The Tale of Balen

1904 – A Channel Passage and Other Poems


1906 – William Blake: A Critical Essay

1872 – Under the Microscope

1875 – George Chapman: A Critical Essay

1875 – Essays and Studies

1877 – A Note on Charlotte Bronte

1880 – A Study of Shakespeare

1886 – A Study of Victor Hugo

1889 – A Study of Ben Johnson

1894 – Studies in Prose and Poetry

1908 – The Age of Shakespeare

1909 – Shakespeare

Major Collections

The poems of Algernon Charles Swinburne

The Tragedies of Algernon Charles Swinburne

The Complete Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne

The Swinburne Letters

Uncollected Letters of Algernon Charles Swinburne

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Stephane Mallarme praised Swinburne, highly in France. Swinburne was invited to contribute to a book in honor of the poet Theophile Gautier.

In 1892, the Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone considered him for the roel of poet laureate.

Right from 1903 to 1907 Swinburne was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and again in the year 1909.

Swinburne was considered by H.P. Lovecraft as the only real poet in either America or England after Mr.Edgar Allan Poe’s death.

Read realted notes  Will Aitken