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Lionel Johnson. Biography




Lionel Pigot Johnson (15 March 1867 Ц 4 October 1902) was an English poet, essayist and critic.

Johnson was born at Broadstairs, and educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, graduating in 1890. He became a Catholic convert in 1891. He lived a solitary life in London, struggling with alcoholism and his repressed homosexuality. He died of a stroke after a fall in the street, though it was said to be a fall from a barstool in the Green Dragon in Fleet Street.

During his lifetime were published his "The Art of Thomas Hardy" (1894), "Poems" (1895), "Ireland and Other Poems" (1897). He was one of the Rhymers' Club, and cousin to Olivia Shakespear (who dedicated her novel "The False Laurel" to him).

In June 1891, Johnson converted to Catholicism, at the same time as he introduced his cousin Lord Alfred Douglas to his friend Oscar Wilde. He later repudiated Wilde in "The Destroyer of a Soul" (1892), deeply regretting initiating what became the highly scandalous love affair between the two men.

In 1893, Johnson wrote what some consider his masterpiece, "The Dark Angel". Over a century later, the poem inspired the Dark Angels chapter of Space Marines in the "Warhammer 40,000" fictional universe. Lion El'Jonson, the chapter's central character, is also named after the poet.



Lionel Johnson's Poems:
  1. The Dark Angel
  2. Doctor Major
  3. By the Statue of King Charles at Charing Cross
  4. To a Traveller
  5. The Age of a Dream
  6. July
  7. Oxford
  8. Bagley Wood
  9. Ways of War
  10. The Precept of Silence

All Lionel Johnson's Poems



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