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Thomas Chatterton, Autograph Letter to Horace Walpole, April 8, 1769

Autograph Letter (signed) to Horace Walpole Autograph Letter (signed) to Horace Walpole

Thomas Chatterton, Autograph letter signed to Horace Walpole, April 8, 1769

The young Thomas Chatterton was best known for his forgery of medieval poems by animagined 15th-century Bristol monk, Thomas Rowley.This is the original 1769 autograph letter written by Chatterton to a great literary patron of the day, Horace Walpole, shortly after Walpole’s friends Gray and Mason had revealed the Rowley imposture. Chatterton responded indignantly, threatening to destroy his “useless lumber of literature.” That, too, was a lie, for Chatterton forged ahead, only to die young and reemerge in the Romantic era as a symbol of the ill-treated poet abused by the indifference of the literary establishment.