Patmore, Coventry Kersey Dighton

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Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore, 1823–96, English poet. Patmore's first poetry, published in 1844, led to an assistant librarianship (1846–65) at the British Museum. His principal works are The Angel in the House (in 4 books, 1854, 1856, 1860, 1863), a long poem that exalts the sanctity of married love (Patmore himself was happily married three times), and The Unknown Eros (1877), a series of odes reflecting the spiritual change effected by his conversion (1864) to Roman Catholicism. In 1878, Tamerton Church Tower and Other Poems (1853) was reprinted with Amelia and included the "Essay on English Metrical Law." Although Patmore's early poetry seems insipid and sentimental, his later work is bolder, more ornate, and more profound.

See his collected poems (ed. by F. Page, 1949) and Memoirs and Correspondence (ed. by B. Champneys, 1900–1901); studies by E. J. Oliver (1956), J. C. Reid (1957), and O. Burdett (1921, repr. 1973).