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THOMAS WADE (18o5-1875)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 227 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THOMAS WADE (18o5-1875), English poet and dramatist, was born at Woodbridge, Suffolk, in 18o5. He early went to London, where he began to publish verse of considerable merit under the inspiration of Byron, Keats and especially Shelley. He wrote some plays that were produced on the London stage with a certain measure of success, owing more perhaps to the acting of Charles and Fanny Kemble than to the merits of the dramatist. Wade frequently contributed verses to the magazines, and for some years he was editor as well as part-proprietor of Bell's Weekly Messenger. This venture proving financially unsuccessful, he retired to Jersey, where he edited the British Press, continuing to publish poetry from time to time until 1871. He died in Jersey on the ,9th of September 1875. His wife was Lucy Eager, a musician of some repute. The most notable of Wade's publications were: Tasso and the Sisters (1825), a volume of poems, among which " The Nuptials of Juno " in particular showed rare gifts of imagination, though like all Wade's work deficient in sense of melody and feeling for artistic form; Woman's Love (1828), a play produced at Covent Garden; The Phrenologists, a farce produced at Covent Garden in 183o; The Jew of Arragon, a play that was " howled from the stage " at Covent Garden in 183o owing to its exaltation of the Jew; IVIundi et cordis carmine (1835), a volume of poems, many of which had previously appeared in the Monthly Repository; The Contention of Death and Love, Helena and The Shadow Seeker—these three being published in the form of pamphlets in 1837; Prothanasia and other Poems (1839). Wade also wrote a drama entitled King Henry II., and a translation of Dante's " Inferno " in the metre of the original, both of which remain in manuscript; and a series of sonnets inspired by his wife, some of which have been published. See Alfred H. Mills, The Poets and Poetry of the Century, vol. iii. (to vols., London, 1891–1897); Literary Anecdotes of the 19th Century, edited by Sir W. Robertson Nicoll and T. J. Wise (2 vols., London, 1895–1896), containing a number of Wade's sonnets, a specimen of his Dante translation and a reprint of two of his verse pamphlets.
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