Biography and History

Ernest Christopher Dowson was a nineteenth-century English poet, novelist, and writer of short stories associated with the "Decadent Movement". He attended The Queen's College, Oxford, but left before obtaining a degree. He led an active social life while working assiduously at his writing. Dowson was a member of the Rhymers' Club, which included W. B. Yeats and Lionel Johnson. He was also a frequent contributor to the literary magazines The Yellow Book and The Savoy. In August 1894, his father died of tuberculosis complications. His mother, who was also consumptive, hanged herself a few months later, and Dowson began to decline rapidly. Robert Sherard, the journalist, found him almost penniless in a wine bar and took him back to his own home. Dowson spent the last six weeks of his life at Sherard's house and died there of alcoholism at the age of 32.

Source: From the finding aid for C1325

  • Ernest Dowson Collection. 1889-1897 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1325

    Consists of selected letters, both in English and French, by the nineteetnh-century English poet and novelist Ernest Christopher Dowson. His correspondents include other writers, poets, journalists, and editors from France and England.