Matthew Arnold Biography

Full name: Matthew Arnold
Birth date: December 24, 1822,
Birth place: Laleham, Middlesex, England
Died: April 15, 1888, Liverpool, England
Nationality: British
Period: Victorian
Genres: Poetry, Literary, and Religious Criticism
Notable work(s): “Dover Beach”, “The Scholar-Gipsy”
Education: University of Oxford

Arnold was Prince Hamlet among the Victorian poets, out of with his age. Matthew Arnold was the second child and the eldest son of Dr. Thomas Arnold, the great Rugby Headmaster. He was born at Laleham, Lake district, in the year 1822. In 1841, he joined Balliol College, Oxford as a classical scholar. Soon he showed excellence in classics and won a prize in poetry composition. Arnold enjoyed a high social position at Oxford and was known as a dandy. He was appointed the private secretary to Lord  Landsdowne, the reputed Whig party leader, in 1847.

Arnold seems to have fallen in love with a french girl during his European holiday in 1846-47. His identity is not known, but poems dealing with his brief friendship with her, mention her as Marguerite. However, later he fallen in love with Frances Lucy Wightman, daughter of the judge, Sir William Wightman, and married her in June 1851, their married life was a very happy. In 1957, Arnold was elected professor of poetry at Oxford for five years and later the term was extended by another 5 years. His job was very light. He went to Liverpool to receive his daughter and granddaughter, who were coming from America in 1886. On April, while straining to catch a train, he told of a severe pain and abruptly fell down dead.

He was a close friend and neighbor of William Wordsworth when lived in the Lack District.

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