Charles Maturin  

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Charles Maturin (born September 25, 1782 in Dublin; died October 30, 1824 in Dublin) was an Irish writer of gothic plays and novels. Honoré de Balzac and Charles Baudelaire later expressed fondness for Maturin's work, particularly his most famous novel, Melmoth the Wanderer. Charles Maturin was Oscar Wilde's great-uncle by marriage.

Contents

Biography

Descended from a Huguenot family.

Maturin died in Dublin on 30 October 1824, after which rumours (none of them confirmed or proven) circulated that he had committed suicide. Honoré de Balzac and Charles Baudelaire later expressed fondness for Maturin's work, particularly his most famous novel, Melmoth the Wanderer.

Analysis

His first three works were published under the pseudonym Dennis Jasper Murphy and were critical and commercial failures. They did, however, catch the attention of Sir Walter Scott, who recommended Maturin's work to Lord Byron. With the help of these two literary luminaries, the curate's play, Bertram (staged at Drury Lane for 22 nights) saw a wider audience and became a success. Financial success, however, eluded Maturin, as the play's run coincided with his father's unemployment and another relative's bankruptcy, both of them assisted by the fledgling writer. To make matters worse, Samuel Taylor Coleridge publicly denounced the play as dull and loathsome, and "melancholy proof of the depravation of the public mind," going nearly so far as to decry it as atheistic. The Church of Ireland took note of these and earlier criticisms and, having discovered the identity of Bertram's author (Maturin had shed his nom de plume to collect the profits from the play), subsequently barred Maturin's further clerical advancement. Forced to support his wife and four children by writing (his salary as curate was £80-90 per annum, compared to the £1000 he made for Bertram), he switched back from playwright to novelist after a string of his plays met with failure.

Known Works

Novels

Plays

  • Bertram; or The Castle of St. Aldobrand (1816)
  • Manuel (1817)
  • Fredolfo (1819)
  • Osmyn the Renegade (published posthumously in 1830, but in rehearsal at Covent Garden in 1822)

Poems

  • The Universe (1821)

Sermons

  • Sermons (1819)
  • Five Sermons on the Errors of the Roman Catholic Church (1824)




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Charles Maturin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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