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Allingham, William

ALLINGHAM, WILLIAM (1824-1889), Irish man of letters and poet, was born at Ballyshannon, Donegal, on the 19th of March 1824 (or 1828, according to some authorities), and was the son of the manager of a local bank. He obtained a post in the custom-house of his native town and filled several similar situations in Ireland and England until 1870, when he had retired from the service, and became sub-editor of Fraser's Magazine, which he edited from 1874 to 1879. He had published a volume of Poems in 1850, followed by Day and Night Songs, a volume containing many charming lyrics, in 1855. Allingham was on terms of close friendship with D. G. Rossetti, who contributed to the illustration of the Songs. His Letters to Allingham (1854-1870) were edited by Dr Birkbeck Hill in 1897. Lawrence Bloomfield, a narrative poem illustrative of Irish social questions, appeared in 1864. Allingham married in 1874 Helen Paterson, known under her married name as a water-colour painter. He died at Hampstead on the 18th of November 1889. Though working on an unostentatious scale, Allingham produced much excellent lyrical and descriptive poetry, and the best of his pieces are thoroughly national in spirit and local colouring.

William Allingham: a Diary (1907), edited by Mrs Allingham and D. Radford, contains many interesting reminiscences of Tennyson, Carlyle and other famous contemporaries.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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