Banker Poet: The Rise & Fall of Samuel Rogers 1763Â1855 (Hardcover) by Blocksidge Martin
Samuel Rogers was arguably the most widely read poet of the early nineteenth century. He was also a prominent figure in the literary and cultural life of London and owned one of the largest private art collections of his day. He was well known to at least three generations of celebrated figures ranging from John Wilkes and Dr. Burney through Wordsworth Scott and Byron to Tennyson Dickens and Ruskin. He was also associated with other prominent national figures such as Charles James Fox Joseph Priestley Lord Holland and the Duke of Wellington. Known throughout his life (not always sympathetically) as the Banker Poet he came from a radical Dissenting background. He was supportive of the French Revolution and politically active in the 1790s when to be so involved personal danger (he attended the treason trials of Tom Paine and Horne Tooke). Nevertheless he considered his true vocation to be poetry and achieved considerable success and fame when The Pleasures of Memory was published in 1792. Ten years later he retired to a civilised home in St. Jamess Place where his breakfast and dinner parties were legendary. His art collection attracted visitors from all over the world and his poem Italy composed after an extended tour there in 1815 was widely read. Martin Blocksidge considers the nature of Rogers poetry and the reputation it acquired and examines its cultural context; likewise Rogers connoisseurship of paintings. Rogers was famous but controversial provoking some distaste and consequent satirical treatment most notably from his erstwhile friend Byron. Biographical and interdisciplinary this narrative is relevant not only to literary historians but to those interested in the history of Dissenting and radical groups picturesque travel art history and the cultural history of London.