Dobson, Austin, 1840-1921

Alternative names
Birth 1840-01-18
Death 1921-09-02

Biographical notes:

Dobson became known as a poet for his works "Proverbs in Porcelain" (1877) and "Collected Poems" (1897), in which he used the French forms, and as a biographer, for "Fanny Burney" and "Horace Walpole."

From the description of Correspondence, 1902-1908. (Temple University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 122445124

Henry Austin Dobson, civil servant and poet, was born on 18 January 1840. After leaving school at the age of 16, he joined the Board of Trade where he remained until his retirement as Principal in 1901. He had an enduring enthusiasm for the eighteenth century and for poetry. He composed a large quantity of his own poetry and was well known for his adaptation of old French verses. His earliest volume of poetry was Vignettes in Rhyme , (1873). Later in his life, Dobson turned his attention increasingly to prose, resulting in several volumes of essays including Eighteenth Century Prose (in 3 series; 1892, 1894 and 1896). He died in 1921.

From the guide to the Dobson, Henry Austin, 1869-1966, (Senate House Library, University of London)

Henry Austin Dobson was born in Plymouth, and educated in England and Strasbourg. At sixteen, he returned to England and took a position as clerk with the Board of Trade, where he remained for forty-five years. After a brief attempt to develop his talents as a painter, he began writing poetry, and became a popular and prolific writer of light verse. His interest in 18th-century literature led him to compose numerous biographies of British writers; he also wrote the influential Civil Service Handbook of English Literature, and contributed to The Civil Service History of England. A talented, energetic man-of-letters who led a sedate private life, Dobson is remembered for his intelligence, industry, and wry humor.

From the description of Austin Dobson letter to Dear sir, 1903 Jan. 23. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 71802238

British poet and author.

From the description of Autograph letter signed with initials : [London], to Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1884 Aug. 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 644239577

Epithet: author

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001137.0x000076

English poet and critic.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : 75, Eaton Rise, Ealing, to sir Sydney Cockerell, 1908 Sept. 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270514641

Henry Austin Dobson (1840-1921) was an English poet and biographer. Much of his poetry reflected the spirit of the 18th century, and some poems were written with illustrations in mind.

From the description of Austin Dobson papers, 1874 [manuscript]. (University of Southern Mississippi, Regional Campus). WorldCat record id: 711779210


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  • Poets, English--19th century--Manuscripts
  • Literature
  • Authors and publishers--19th century
  • Poetry
  • Male authors, English--Correspondence
  • Literary forms and genres
  • English literature--20th century


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