Walter Savage Landor
Who was he?
Walter Savage Landor (30 January 1775 – 17 September 1864) was
an English writer and poet. His best known works were the prose Imaginary Conversations
, and the
poem Rose Aylmer
, but the
critical acclaim he received from contemporary poets and reviewers was
not matched by public popularity. As remarkable as his work was, it was
equaled by his rumbustious character and lively temperament.
Why was he in Bath?
Landor travelled the country in constant debt, spending much time at
Bath. Here he met Sophia Jane Swift, who was already engaged to her
cousin Godwin Swifte, whom she married despite Landor's ardent
entreaties in 1803. He called her Ianthe and wrote some of his most
beautiful love poems to her. His father died in 1805, which put him in
possession of an independent fortune. After living in Florence, he came
to Bath in 1837 and stayed in the city for twenty years. He spent six
years at 3, Rivers
Street, but lived for the majority of his stay at 35, St. James's
Square, where his friend Charles Dickens
was a regular visitor.
According to Wainwright 
was originally on the house in Rivers Road but was found in its ruins
following the bombing of 1942 [Baedeker
]. The plaque is
now on the house at 35, St James's Square:
The text reads
"Here lived W. Savage Landor b. 1775 d.1864"
Location map of 35, St. James’s Square:
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