Biography of Walter Savage Landor

Walter Savage Landor

Walter Savage Landor was a nineteenth century author and poet.

When and Where was he Born?

30th January 1775, Eastgate House, Warwick, Warwickshire, England. Christened Walter Savage Landor.

Family Background:

Walter Savage Landor was the son of a Doctor and a wealthy mother.

Education:

Rugby School from which he was removed for being insolent. Trinity College, Oxford University from which he was suspended for firing a shotgun in his rooms. Started a lifelong friendship with the poet and author Robert Southey.

Timeline of Walter Savage Landor:

1805: Landor inherits the family property of Ipsley Court and sold it to buy Llanthony Abbey in Wales

1808: He fights as a volunteer in Spain in the war of liberation against Napoleon using his family’s wealth to subsidise his campaign.

1811: He marries Julia Thuiller, a 17 year old and goes into exile in Italy after being sued for libel.

1824: Whilst in Florence he is also threatened with expulsion for being insulting to the local police force and for writing anti-Italian material in his work “Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen.”

1834: Landor quarrels with and leaves his wife and four children and returns to England to live in Bath.

Landor House
Eastgate House, Warwick where Landor was born 
(now known as Landor House and used as a private girls school) (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1836: He writes “Pericles and Aspasia”, a series of imaginary letters conjuring up Ancient Athens. Charles Dickens was to base his character of Boythorn in “Bleak House” on Landor.

1837: Publication of “The Pentameron and Pentalogia” a dialogue between Petrarch and Bocaccio.

1853: Publication of “Imaginary Conversations of Greeks and Romans”.

1858: Once again he leaves for Italy after being threatened with a libel case after writing some satirical verse “Dry Sticks, Fagoted”. Eventually he arrives in Florence to stay with Elizabeth and Robert Browning.

His poems written to Elizabeth were not to be published until 1917.

When and Where did he Die?

17th September 1864, Florence, Italy.

Age at Death:

89.

Written Works:

1795: “Poems.”
1798: “Gebir.”
1802: “Poetry by the Author of Gebir.”
1812: “Count Julian: A Tragedy.”
1824: “Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen. Vols 1-2.”
1828: “Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen. Vols 3-4.”
1829: “Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen. Vol 5.”
1834: “Examination of Shakespeare.”
1836: “Pericles and Aspasia.”
1837: “Literary Hours”. “Pentameron.”
1839: “Andrea of Hungary”. “Giovanna of Naples.”
1840: “Fra Rupert.”
1847: “The Hellenics, Enlarged and Completed.” “Poemata et Inscriptiones.”
1848: “Imaginary Conversation of King Carlo-Alberto and the Duchess of Belloioso.”
1853: “Last Fruit off an Old Tree.”
1863: “Heroic Idylls.”

Marriage:

1811 to Julia Thuiller, a 17 year old.

Site of Grave:

Buried at the Porta a Pinta Cemetery, (known as the “English Cemetery”) Florence, Italy.

Places of Interest:

WARWICKSHIRE:

Commemorative plaque inside Bishop’s Tachbrook Church.
Birthplace in Warwick. (now a private girl’s school).

WALES:

Llanthony Abbey.

Further Information:

Landor Society, c/o Jean Field, 11 Watesfield Gardens, Sydenham Lamy, Warkswickshire, CV31 1NT.