This anthology brings together three powerfully original figures who vividly capture the spirit and anxieties of their age. While he started by writing in the style of Keats, Thomas Hood (1799-1845) declared 'I have to be a lively Hood for a livelihood', and devoted most of his career to comic verse. His sheer verbal ingenuity and endlessly inventive punning cannot conceal his phobias and fears, nor the emerging social protest that was to shape impressive poems in his later years. Winthrop Macworth Praed (1802-39) observed the social scene of his day - the flirtations, political intrigues, elegant chit-chat and parliamentary procedures - with sparkling, self-deprecating wit. And Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-49), who committed suicide, left behind an astonishing collection of fragments and incomplete dramas full of macabre situations and ghoulish humour. His songs and lyrics are often presented as self-contained gems; this edition restores them to their contexts and includes many of the poet's own sharp reflections on his aims and techniques.