A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Taylor, Sir Henry

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Taylor, Sir Henry (1800-1886). -- Dramatist, s. of a gentleman farmer in the county of Durham. After being at sea for some months and in the Naval Stores Department, he became a clerk in the Colonial Office, and remained there for 48 years, during which he exercised considerable influence on the colonial policy of the Empire. In 1872 he was made K.C.M.G. He wrote four tragedies -- Isaac Comnenus (1827), Philip van Artevelde (1834), Edwin the Fair (1842), and St. Clement's Eve (1862); also a romantic comedy, The Virgin Widow, which he renamed A Sicilian Summer, The Eve of the Conquest and other Poems (1847). In prose he pub. The Statesman (1836), Notes from Life (1847), Notes from Books (1849), and an Autobiography. Of all these Philip van Artevelde was perhaps the most successful. T. was a man of great ability and distinction, but his dramas, with many of the qualities of good poetry, lack the final touch of genius.