After Shelley: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Hogg to Jane Williams

After Shelley: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Hogg to Jane Williams

After Shelley: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Hogg to Jane Williams

After Shelley: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Hogg to Jane Williams

Excerpt

Thomas Jefferson Hogg, destined to be Shelley's most notorious biographer, was born a few months earlier than the poet--to be exact, on May 24, 1792. He was the eldest son of John Hogg, of Norton House, Stockton-on-Tees, and his mother Prudentia was the daughter of the Rev. Watkin Jones. His grandmother inherited Norton House from her father John Jefferson, but the old timber mansion made way about 1790 for a fine Georgian building. For the family had prospered. Hogg's grandfather had been agent to the Dean and Chapter of Durham. Of his father we know little more than that he was 'D. L. and barrister-at-law, formerly of Lincoln's Inn'. John Hogg senior died in 1840. His second son, christened John, will appear again in this memoir. A sister, who was born on the same day as Mary Shelley, is described by T. J. Hogg, in a letter of 1853: 'as good a creature as ever lived; a pure virgin . . . tall and thin'.

Of T. J. Hogg as a child we also know little. 'I passed', he says, 'three or four years at a preparatory school in Yorkshire, near Ferrybridge, where boys remained until they were eleven or twelve years old. I have a lively recollection of several remarkable events that occurred . . .

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