Mackay, Charles, 1814-1889

Alternative names
Birth 1814-03-27
Death 1889-12-24

Biographical notes:

Charles Mackay, Scots-born poet and writer.

From the description of Charles Mackay manuscript material : 1 item, [ca. 1850's?] (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 726872907

Scottish poet.

From the description of The primrose : autograph manuscript copy of the poem signed : Boston, 1858 May 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270609514

British journalist and poet.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to Richard Bentley, 1840 July 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270606399

From the description of Autograph letter signed : "90 Broadway" [New York], to Horace Greeley, 1865 Jan. 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270605409

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Boxhill, Surrey, to Horace Greeley, 1870 Aug. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270605514

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [London], to E[dward] Dalziel, 1852 Dec. 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270871383

Charles Mackay was born in Perth and educated in Caledonia, London, and Brussels. He began working as a secretary, and published verses in various periodicals. He established himself as a journalist in London, and later Glasgow. He continued to publish poetry, which was sometimes set to music, and the songs were often popular. He also worked as an editor and correspondent, covering the American Civil War for The Times.

From the description of Charles Mackay letter to John Gilbert, 1848 April 8. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 61495274

Charles Mackay was born in Scotland. At the age of sixteen he was employed as the private secretary to William Cockerill, an ironmaster based in Belgium. In his spare time he wrote articles for the local newspaper. Coming to London in 1834, he engaged in journalism, published SONGS & POEMS (1834), MEMOIRS OF EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS AND THE MADNESS OF CROWDS, and a number of other works. His literary reputation was made by the publication in 1846 of a volume of verses, VOICES FROM THE CROWD, some of which were set to music by Henry Russell and became very popular. In 1848 Mackay worked for the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS, of which he became editor in 1852. In it he published a number of songs, set to music by Sir Henry Bishop and Henry Russell, and in 1855 they were collected in a volume which included the popular "Cheer, Boys! Cheer!"

Publisher George Routledge began work as an apprentice to Charles Thurman, bookseller, in Carlisle, UK, between 1827 and 1833. He went to London and worked for Baldwin & Craddock, publishers, from 1833 to 1836. In 1836 he started his own publishing house, which became Routledge & Co., then Routledge, Warne, & Routledge, and ultimately George Routledge & Sons. He retired in 1887.

From the description of Charles Mackay correpondence, 1857-1872. (Peking University Library). WorldCat record id: 74214842


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  • Poetry--19th century
  • Prose
  • Word notes
  • Poems
  • Essays
  • Poets, American--19th century--Correspondence
  • Poets, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Authors and publishers--19th century


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  • Correspondence (as recorded)