Walter Savage Landor, an English author, born at Ipsley Court, Warwickshire, Jan. 30, 1775, died in Florence, Italy, Sept. 17, 1864. His parents were very wealthy, and he was educated under private tutors and at Rugby and Oxford. Being rusticated for firing a gun in the quadrangle, he never returned to the university to take his degree. He was designed at first for the army and then for the bar, but ultimately devoted himself entirely to literary pursuits. On the death of his father he succeeded to the family domains, and purchased other estates in Monmouthshire; he expended £7,000 in improving them, and built a mansion which cost £8,000; but in 1806, in disgust with some of his tenantry, one of whom had absconded several thousand pounds in his debt, he sold off his entire property, a part of which had been in his family for 700 years, ordered the mansion to be demolished, and determined to live abroad. In 1808, at the outbreak of the insurrection in Spain against Napoleon, Landor raised a body of troops at his own expense, conducted them to Gen. Blake in Galicia, presented 20,000 reals to the cause, received the thanks of the supreme junta, and was appointed a colonel in the Spanish army. He resigned his commission on the restoration of King Ferdinand and the subversion of the constitution.
In 1811 he married Julia Thuillier de Malaperte, of Bath, a daughter of the baron de Nieuveville. From 1815 to 1835 he resided in Italy, then returned to England and resided at Bath till 1858, when he removed again to Italy. For several years he occupied the palace of the Medici at Florence, and then purchased the villa and garden of Count Gherar-desca at Fiesole. He published a small volume of poems in 1795, and "Gebir," a long poem, in 1798; but he first really became known as an author by the publication of " Count Julian," a tragedy (1812). In 1820 he published at Pisa his Latin Idyllia Heroica, with an appendix in Latin prose on the reasons why modern Latin poets are so little read. His literary reputation was greatly increased by his prose work entitled "Imaginary Conversations" (5 vols. 8vo, London, 1824-'9). These supposed dialogues between remarkable personages of past or present times illustrate the peculiarities of the different interlocutors and of the periods in which they lived, and also abound in paradoxical and original opinions.
They were followed by "Pericles and Aspasia" (1836), "A Satire on Satirists and Admonition to Detractors" (1836), the "Pentameron and Pentalogia" (1837), and the dramas " Andrea of Hungary and Giovanna of Naples" (1839). All these works were written in Italy. During his residence at Bath he published the "Hellenics" (1847); " Popery, British and Foreign " (1851); "Last Fruit off an Old Tree" (1853); "Letters of an American " (1854), under the pseu-donyme of Pottinger; "Antony and Octavius"
(1856); "Dry Sticks Fagoted" (1858); and frequent contributions to the "Examiner" newspaper. The last named book contained some most objectionable poems, libelling a lady of Bath to whom Landor had conceived an intense personal dislike, for which a judgment of £1,000 was obtained against him. An edition of his collected works was published in London in 1846 (2 vols. 8vo; reprinted in 1853). The first complete edition of his works was commenced in 1874 (7 vols. 8vo, London). His life has been written by John Forster (London, 1869; new ed., 1874). All of Landor's writings contain highly intellectual passages, but his poems especially display an effort to reproduce the genius and style of Hellenic poetry, and seem foreign to modern habits of thought. - His brother, the Rev. Robert Eyres Landor, is the author of several works, including two remarkable novels, "The Fawn of Ser-torius" (2 vols., 1846) and "The Fountain of Arethusa" (2 vols., 1848).