Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Peacock, Thomas Love
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English satirical novelist and poet. His unique whimsical novels are full of paradox, prejudice, curious learning, and witty dialogue, interspersed with occasional poems, and he satirizes contemporary ideas, outlooks, and attitudes in a prevailing comic tone. They include Headlong Hall (1816), Melincourt (1817), and Nightmare Abbey (1818), which has very little plot, consisting almost entirely of conversation expressing points of view on contemporary controversies and society.

He published two romances, Maid Marian (1822) and Misfortunes of Elphin (1829), but returned to the form of Headlong Hall with his last and best novels, Crotchet Castle (1831) and Gryll Grange (1860). These mature works are written with greater assurance and are less concerned with purely contemporary affairs.

Peacock was born in Weymouth, Dorset. Largely self-educated, he became a scholar of Greek, Latin, French, and Italian, and in 1801 began to write poetry. In 1812 he became friendly with Shelley, who had a great influence on him. Peacock later published memoirs of the poet in Fraser's Magazine. He worked for the East India Company from 1819 and was chief examiner from 1837–56. He was also instrumental in the development of the earliest gunboats during the 1830s.


Peacock, Thomas Love


Selected Poetry of Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866)

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Peacock, Thomas Love
Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature

Self-educated after age thirteen, Peacock acquired a wide knowledge of Greek, Latin, French, and Italian literature,...

Full text Article Peacock, Thomas Love
Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature: The Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature

Though he published poetry and wrote a Victorian memoir of the Shelley circle, Thomas Love Peacock is best known to literary history for his Romantic

Full text Article Peacock, Thomas Love
Philip's Encyclopedia

1785-1866 English novelist and poet. Peacock is chiefly remembered for his idiosyncratic satirical romances, such as Nightmare Abbey (1818), ...

See more from Credo