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John William King

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Miscellaneous writer. Resident in Sheffield. Among writers named King who published verse in the mid-century, the writer resident in Sheffield was John William King. King began life as an artisan, composing his first printed verses after "the busy labours of the toilsome day" ("Preface", The Emigrant). Listed in Sheffield directories as type caster, 1849; news-agent and stationer, 1852; bookseller and stationer, 1856. Does not appear in later Sheffield directories. In 1848, brought out by subscription The Emigrant, and Other Poems, printed in Sheffield "for the author" (2nd ed., London, 1850, re-titled Lays of a Struggling Heart); also had printed or published in Sheffield Tales for the Christmas Hearth, 1851; a sketch of Ebenezer Elliott, and a brief life of Gavazzi. His Memoir, 1858, of his friend James Montgomery of Sheffield records on title page both London and Sheffield publication. His other writings had London publishers: The Patriot: A Poem, dedicated to Mazzini; Ernest, The Pilgrim: A Dramatic Poem, dedicated to "my valued friend and instructor, Alessandro Gavazzi"; Characters and Incidents, an account of travels in England and Wales; Continental Europe from 1792-1859, and a continuation of the same in The War in Italy.


In his Memoir of Montgomery, King referred to Dickens's books as teaching and elevating their readers. Dickens, he stated, was "not the less a poet for writing prose" (p. 389).

Harper's reprinted "Lighten the Boat!", without acknowledgment to H.W.

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971.

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