Born in 1618
Died in 1657
Lovelace was probably born in Woolwich, though Kent and the Netherlands are possible alternatives. He was from a wealthy landowning and military family, obtained a position at court aged 13 (for which his family paid a fee), and attended Charterhouse and then both Oxford and Cambridge (the latter briefly). His poetry writing began at school, but only one volume was published in his lifetime (Lucasta in 1649), another posthumously put out by a brother. Lovelace was staunchly Royalist, fighting for the King in the Bishops’ Wars, spending his fortune for the Royalist cause, and being imprisoned by Parliament. There is a mystery concerning his whereabouts between 1650 and 1657, the year of his death. Lovelace’s most memorable poems are To Lucasta, Going to the Warres, and To Althea, from Prison, the latter containing the oft-quoted lines: ‘Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage.’
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