I too can hunt a Poetaster down


Bequest of Francis Lewis Peck, 1966 – *EC8.L5875.Az801t

Oh! wonder-working LEWIS! Monk, or Bard,
Who fain would’st make Parnassus a church-yard!

Anonymous. Tales of Terror (London, 1801).

As the nineteen-year-old author of The Monk (1796), Matthew Gregory Lewis became a leading exponent of Gothic literature in England. He collaborated with Scott and Southey on a collection of folk ballads entitled An Apology for Tales of Terror (1799) and published a sequel, Tales of Wonder (1801). On display is a parody of his verse – long thought to be by Lewis himself – illustrated with three macabre engravings. In 1816 Lewis met Byron in Switzerland, where he translated passages for him from Goethe’s Faust, and in 1817 he visited the exiled poet at Venice.