A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Darwin, Erasmus

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Darwin, Erasmus (1731-1802). -- Poet, physician, and scientist, was b. at Elston, Notts, and ed. at Camb. and at Edin., where he took his degree of M.D. He ultimately settled in Lichfield as a physician, and attained a high professional reputation, so much so that he was offered, but declined, the appointment of physician to George III. In 1778 he formed a botanical garden, and in 1789 pub. his first poem, The Loves of the Plants, followed in 1792 by The Economy of Vegetation, which combined form The Botanic Garden. Another poem, The Temple of Nature, was pub. posthumously. He also wrote various scientific works in prose. The poems of D., though popular in their day, are now little read. Written in polished and sonorous verse, they glitter with startling similes and ingenious, though often forced, analogies, but have little true poetry or human interest.