Algernon Charles Swinburne, (1837-1909) English poet and critic, was the son of Admiral Charles Henry Swinburne (of an old Northumbrian family) and of Lady Jane Henrietta, a daughter of George, 3rd Earl of Ashburnham. It may almost be said to have been by accident that Swinburne owned London for his birthplace, since he was removed from it immediately, and always felt a cordial dislike for the surroundings and influences of life in the heart of a great city. His own childhood was spent in a very different environment. His grandfather, Sir John Edward Swinburne, Bart., owned an estate in Northumberland, and his father, the admiral, bought a beautiful spot between Ventnor and Niton in the Isle of Wight, called East Dene, together with a strip of undercliff known as the Landslip. The two homes were in a sense amalgamated. Sir Edward used to spend half the year in the Isle of Wight, and the admiral’s family shared his northern home for the other half; so that the poet’s earliest recollections took the form of strangely contrasted emotions, inspired on the one hand by the bleak north, and on the other by the luxuriant and tepid south. Of the two, the influences of the island are, perhaps naturally, the stronger in his poetry; and many of his most beautiful pieces were actually written at the Orchard, an exquisite spot by Niton Bay, which belonged to relatives of the poet, and at which he was a constant visitor.