Theodore William Graf Wratislaw Poems

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Theodore William Graf Wratislaw
Theodore William Graf Wratislaw (1871-1933), Count of the Holy Roman Empire, was a British poet. He entered his father's office and in 1893 passed his solicitor's final exams. He had to work to earn his living as a solicitor at Somerset House, describing life there as "penal servitude". In 1892 he published at his own expense two slim volumes of poems - Love's Memorial and Some verses. In 1893 he published Caprices (now available unexpurgated). Wratislaw was published in the Strand Magazine and the Yellow Book along with such as Henry James, Arnold Bennett, Oscar Wilde and other fin-de-siècle contributors. Orchids (a double entendre for the Greek word 'orchis' - meaning 'testicle') was published in 1896. In 1927 he moved to York Lodge, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey (commemorated now by a blue plaque - the house has been sympathetically restored by the current owner, Barry Taylor-Gregson) and his last work there was an account of his visit to Wilde's home at Goring-on-Thames. Just before his death in September 1933, Wratislaw re-visited Goring and had his account only at the proof stage; however a 1979 edition with foreword by Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, edited by G Krishnamurti and entitled Oscar Wilde - a memoir, has been published. Other works include The Pity of Love a tragedy based on the love story of Sophia Dorothea, the wife of King George I, and Philip von Konigsmark; also Algernon Charles Swinburne: a study (1900) which was his best known work in his lifetime. Wratislaw's translations of Two Ballades by Francois Villon was published in 1933, with only 60 copies being printed and intended for his friends and sent out to them by his widow, Ada, after his death. Earlier on, he had written to a friend that he was writing a resume of his uncle's (Reverend A H Wratislaw- headmaster of Felsted 1850-55) translation into English from the Slavonic of their ancestor's - Baron Vratislav von Mitrovitz - account of his life as a galley slave of the Turks, when he was aged only 15-18 years in the 16th century. Count Marc Wratislaw von Mitrovitz removed the original manuscript from Prague in 1777 when he left Bohemia to come and settle in England. Wratislaw's knowledge of classical Greek was extensive, having previously edited and corrected Thomas Taylor's translation of "Plato's Republic", copies of the Wratislaw edition only available when printed to individual order in the USA. (The ancestral title Baron or hrabe of Mitrovitz refers to the Hungarian nobility. The grafliche or courtly title was the Holy Roman Empire's 1700's award to Chancellor Jan Vratislav von Mitrovitz - see St Jakob's, Prague). The 'von Mitrovitz' was dropped by the second generation after the family were anglicised.

I dreamt last night of you, John-John,
And thought you called to me;
And when I woke t... [read poem]
I am Eve, great Adam's wife,
I that wrought my children's loss,
I that wronged Jesus of li... [read poem]
in the ball-room
Here where the swaying dancers float,
The heady perfume swimming round
Your slender arms a... [read poem]
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