In 1763, an 11-year-old boy named Thomas Chatterton began publishing mature works of poetry. Before long, he was fooling the literary world by passing his work off as that of a non-existent 15th-century poet named Thomas Rowley—which he did until unmasked by Horace Walpole. Brought up in poverty and without a father, he studied furiously and went on to try and earn a living from his writing. After impressing the likes of the Lord Mayor, William Beckford and the radical leader John Wilkes, he eagerly looked for an outlet in London for his political works, but was unable to make a decent living and, despairing, poisoned himself at the age of seventeen. Chatterton had a significant impact on Romantic artists including Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats; with numerous notable poems, plays, and paintings having been dedicated to him since his untimely death. Originally published in 1857, this book contains a detailed biography of Chatterton written by David Masson. Prof David Mather Masson (1822–1907) was a Scottish historian, literary critic historian, and academic who vocally supported women’s suffrage. His most famous work is his magnum opus “Life of Milton in Connexion with the History of His Own Time” (1858–1880). Other notable works by this author include: “British Novelists and their Styles” (1859), “Drummond of Hawthornden” (1873), and “Edinburgh Sketches” (1892). Read & Co. is republishing this classic biography in a new edition complete with a biography by George Gregory Smith.