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Besides the initial accusation of forgery with regard to the ancient manuscripts containing the Rowley corpus, today a second possible forgery is contemplated in the wake of Peter Ackroyd’s novel Chatterton: could the boy-poet have faked his own death to reach fame, could he have continued to actually write on and publish his verse under the name of various British poets, such as William Cowper or William Blake? The following study explores Thomas Chatterton’s biography and works, in the framework of suicide studies and having this context in the background, with a view to shedding some light on the deep mechanisms of creativity under extreme and special conditions, and in order to understand the reasons for which most probably Chatterton did commit suicide, this situation being fatefully mirrored in his very poetic creations. pp. 37–51


Keywords: suicide, forgery, poverty, antiquity, magic.

Mihai A. Stroe
University of Bucharest, Romania

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