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West Country Poets

EDEN PHILLPOTTS (1862-)

This popular writer was born in India, in November, 1862, his father, the late Captain Henry PHILLPOTTS, of the Indian army, being then stationed there.  He was educated at Mannamead School, Plymouth, under the late Dr. HOLMES and Mr. A. POLLARD, M.A., the latter-named gentleman being an especial friend.  After his school life at Plymouth which he describes as particularly happy, he came to London - the goal of so many youthful aspirants for fame, literary and otherwise.  At the age of seventeen, he entered the office of the Sun Insurance Company as a clerk, working there for ten years by day, and following his natural bent - literary work - at night.  At the expiration of that time, encouraged by the success which kindly Fate had accorded him, he adopted his present profession, and may be said to have taken a prominent place in the world of letters.  Mr. PHILLPOTTS, if not a Devonian has the strongest claim to be included among the poets of the West Country, for , besides, having been educated at Plymouth, his family have been connected with the county for very many years, the famous HENRY, BISHOP OF EXETER, being his great-uncle.  And it will be remembered that the Torquay Division of Devonshire is at the present time represented in Parliament by Commander PHILLPOTTS, and several of his relatives have been connected with the Church in Cornwall.  But beyond and above this, his best work has been inspired by, and is redolent of, sunny Devon.  'Down Dartmoor Way' is the latest and best example of this; and 'Folly and Fresh Air' is another.  'The End of a Life,' 'A Tiger's Cub,' 'Some Everyday Folks,' are the titles of other works.  In addition to these novels and the charming little poems which have found a place in them, interwoven in the story, Mr. PHILLPOTTS has of late given his attention to dramatic work, his play 'The Prude's Progress' having met with a considerable meed of success.  He has been working in collaboration with J. K. JEROME, and also with Mr. Charles GROVES, the comedian.  His latest work, entitled 'My Laughing Philosopher' (1896), originally appeared in Black and White, a journal with which he is now intimately associated.

The poem 'Vale', here appended, is taken from 'Folly and Fresh Air,' and is a good example of the author's work.

[ . . . sorry forgot to type up this one before the book went back . . .]

Transcribed by Sandra Windeatt from: Wright, W. H. K.,(1896) West-Country Poets: Their Lives and Works. London: Elliot Stock, pp.48-51

Last updated 22 Jul 2011 - Brian Randell.

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