Barrett, Eaton Stannard (DNB00)

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BARRETT, EATON STANNARD (1786–1820), author of a poem on ‘Woman’ and of several clever political satires, was a native of Cork, where he was born in 1786. Very little is recorded of his life, but he attended for some time a private school at Wandsworth Common, where he wrote a play with prologue and epilogue, which was acted before the master and his family with considerable success. Although he entered the Middle Temple, London, he was apparently never called to the bar. In private his attractive manners and the worth of his disposition secured him many friends. He died in Glamorganshire of a rapid decline on 20 March 1820.

In 1810 Barrett published ‘Woman and other Poems,’ of which a third edition appeared in 1819, a new edition in 1822, and another in 1841. The poem is an enthusiastic eulogy on the virtues and graces of woman. The verse is influent and rhythmical, but in the artificial manner of Pope, and oratorical rather than poetic. Besides a mock romance, ‘The Heroine,’ which reached a third edition, Barrett wrote a large number of political satires, which, judging from the number of editions they passed through, achieved a great temporary success. The best known of these is ‘All the Talents, a Satirical Poem in Three Dialogues,’ written under the pseudonym of Polypus, in ridicule of the whig administration of the day. Among others of which he is known to be the author are ‘The Comet, a Satire,’ 2nd edition, 1808; ‘Talents run Mad, or Eighteen Hundred and Sixteen, a Satirical Poem by E. S. B.,’ 1816; ‘The Rising Sun, a Serio-comic Romance, by Cervantes Hogg, F.S.M.,’ 1807, 5th edition, 1809; and ‘The Setting Sun, or the Devil among the Placemen,’ by the same, 1809. He also wrote a comedy, ‘My Wife, What Wife?’ and a writer in ‘Notes and Queries’ supposes that he was also the author of ‘Tarantula, a Dance of Fools,’ 1809.

[Gent. Mag. xc. part i. 377; Notes and Queries, viii. 292, 350, 423, ix. 17, xi. 386, 2nd ser. ii. 36, 310; British Museum Catalogue.]

T. F. H.