Thursday, 24 December 2009

On this day...

English poet and critic Matthew Arnold was born in 1822. Son of Thomas Arnold, the headmaster of Rugby School, Arnold had a privileged education, including a scholarship at Balliol College in Oxford. During his childhood, perhaps due to close frienship with neighbour William Wordsworth, Arnold won numerous literary prizes from both Latin and English poetry. Yet in 1851, finding himself short of the income to support a marriage, Arnold applied for the post of Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, which he got, but later described as 'drugedy'. It was in 1857, having been appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford, that his literary career took off; his most famous works being 'Dover Beach' and 'The Scholar Gypsy'. He has been called the third greatest Victorian poet behind Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning.

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