Edwin Atherstone

Edwin Atherstone (1788–1872) was a poet and novelist.[1] His works, which were planned on an imposing scale, attracted some temporary attention and applause, but are now forgotten. His chief poem, The Fall of Nineveh, consisting of thirty books, appeared at intervals from 1828 to 1868. It narrates about war waged by the coalition of many nations led by Median prince Arbaces and Babylonian priest Belesis against the tyrannical king of Assyria Sardanapalus, who defeated in many battles burns his own palace and dies within. He wrote also Israel in Egypt (1861), The Last Days of Herculaneum (1821), Abradates and Panthea (1821) and A Midsummer Day's Dream (1824).[2] He was a close friend and associate of the painter John Martin, whose well-known painting "The Fall of Nineveh" was produced in conjunction with Atherstone's poem.[3]

Edwin Atherstone
Died1872 (aged 83–84)
Occupationpoet, novelist
Notable work
The Fall of Nineveh

He also produced two novels, The Sea Kings in England and The Handwriting on the Wall. The first one tells about the Viking invasion of England at the time of king Alfred the Great. Atherstone's plays were published posthumously by his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Atherstone in 1888.[4]


  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons – via Wikisource.
  1. ^ A Selection of his Poems
  2. ^ Atherstone, Edwin. Archived 2016-10-02 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "S.T. Coleridge, Edwin Atherstone and the Grove Conversazione: Some Newly-Discovered Letters" by Tom Mayberry, Coleridge Bulletin, New Series 18, Winter 2001, p. 43-52. Retrieved Jan. 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Atherstone, Edwin. Archived 2016-10-02 at the Wayback Machine