Fall of Nineveh

The Fall of Nineveh by John Martin. Courtesy Wikigallery.

Edwin Atherstone
Born 17 April 1788
Died 29 January 1872
Occupation poet, novelist
Notable works The Fall of Nineveh

Edwin Atherstone (17 April 1788 - 29 January 1872) was an English poet and novelist.[1]


His earliest published work was a poem entitled The Last Days of Herculaneum, 1821. This was followed, in 1824, by A Midsummer Day's Dream. In 1828 appeared the first 6 books of his chief work, The Fall of Niniveh. 7 more books were published in 1847; and finally, in 1868, the whole work appeared complete in 30 books.[1]

Atherstone was a friend of John Martin, the painter; and the poet and painter worked in friendly rivalry.[1] Martin's well-known painting "The Fall of Nineveh" was produced in conjunction with Atherstone's poem.[2]

In 1830 Atherston published a historical romance, The Sea Kings in England, dealing with the times of Alfred the Great. His other romance is The Handwriting on the Wall, 1858. Afterwards he returned to the writing of epics, and in 1861 published Israel in Egypt,' a poem not far short of 20,000 lines.[1]

Atherstone died at Bath.[1]


His works, which were planned on an imposing scale, attracted some contemporary attention and applause, but are now forgotten.[3]


At the time of his death he was in receipt of a pension of £100 a year.[1]




  • The Sea-Kings in England: An historical romance of the time of Alfred. (3 volumes), Edinburgh: R. Cadell / London: Whittaker, Treacher, & Arnott, 1830.
  • The Handwriting on the Wall: A story. (3 volumes), London: R. Bentley, 1858. Volume I,

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat[4]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  • PD-icon.svg Bullen, Arthur Henry (1885) "Atherstone, Edward" in Stephen, Leslie Dictionary of National Biography 2 London: Smith, Elder, p. 217  Wikisource, Web, Nov. 23, 2017.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bullen, 217.
  2. Tom Mayberry, "S.T. Coleridge, Edwin Atherstone and the Grove Conversazione: Some newly-discovered letters", Coleridge Bulletin, New Series 18, Winter 2001, p. 43-52. Web, Jan. 28, 2011.
  3. Cousin, John William, "Atherstone, Edwin,," A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London, Dent; New York, Dutton, 1910, 15. Wikisource, Web, Nov. 23, 2013.
  4. Search results = Edwin Atherstone, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, June 29, 2013.

External linksEdit


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, the Dictionary of National Biography (edited by Leslie Stephen). London: Smith, Elder, 1885-1900. Original article is at: Atherstone, Edwin

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