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Robert Southey (detail from Some Who Have Made Bristol Famous).
The Bristol-born reviewer, author and Poet Laureate Robert Southey (1774-1843) said of Bristol 'I know of no city so mercantile that is so literary'.

Robert Southey (detail from Some Who Have Made Bristol Famous).

Southey brought his friend Samuel Coleridge to the city and, although both men subsequently made their homes elsewhere, they both frequently returned to Bristol where they sometimes gave lectures to supplement their income. Their most notable achievement was writing the works collated into two editions of the Lyrical Ballads. The first single-volume edition, which also contained material by their colleague William Wordsworth, among others, was published by Bristol author and bookseller, Joseph Cottle, and was a key contribution to the development of the Romantic Movement.

Othes associated with literature and Bristol include:

Sir Henry John Newbolt (1862-1938), poet and writer, whose most famous poem, 'Clifton Chapel', includes the verse:

To set the cause above renown,
To love the game beyond the prize,
To honour, while you strike him down,
The foe that comes with fearless eyes;
To count the life of battle good,
And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood
That binds the brave of all the earth.

Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), artist and poet, born in Bristol who was killed on the Western Front during World War One.

For more information on Bristol poets, writers and publishers, download the Bristol Writing section from the guide here.

Bristol Libraries Close to Home poster.

To coincide with the Great Reading Adventure, Bristol Libraries is running a promotion of fiction set in Bristol called Close to Home. You will find the titles displayed alongside The Bristol Story in your local branch. They are:

Lillian Bouzane In the Hands of the Living God
Fanny Burney Evelina
Gregory Philippa A Respectable Trade
Robert Lewis The Last Llanelli Train
Daniel Mayhew Life and How To Live It
Colleen McCullough Morgan's Run
Deborah Moggach You Must Be Sisters
David Nicholls Starter for ten
Lesley Pearse Till We Meet Again
Kate Sedley Three Kings of Cologne
E V Thompson Lewin's Mead
E V Thompson Becky
Matt Thorne Eight Minutes Idle
James Wilson Bastard Boy

Other Bristol-set books are listed in the readers' guide. Another author to mention is Kate Sedley, who writes mediaeval crime in the 'Roger the Chapman' series.


Robert Lewis 'The Last Llanelli Train'.

Robert Lewis The Last Llanelli Train.

Robert Southey from the comic

Robert Southey.