Francis Thompson (1859-1907), Poet
Sitter in 4 portraits
Thompson began keeping notebooks of poetry and prose while at school. His mother died when he was twenty, and it is thought that he became addicted to opium that was prescribed for her. In 1884 he sent some of his poems to the literary journal Merry England. The poems were mislaid before they were published; in the interval Thompson had moved to London and ended up living on the streets. Wilfrid Meynell, the editor of Merry England, found and brought him into his own home, and published the first volume of his poems. Thompson subsequently lived as an invalid; a lifetime of extreme poverty, ill health, and opium addiction unbalanced him, even though he found success in his last years.