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date: 07 December 2019

Realf, Richardlocked

(14 June 1834–28 October 1878)
  • John Stauffer


Realf, Richard (14 June 1834–28 October 1878), Abolitionist and poet, was born in Framfield, Sussex County, England, the son of Richard Realf, a policeman, and Martha Highland. He was the fifth of eight children in what he described as a “very poor” family of “honest peasant ancestry,” and he “went to work in the fields at a very tender age.” His only formal education, a year or two at a village school beginning at the age of nine, was made possible through the assistance of a family friend. He began writing poetry at fifteen and two years later left home for Brighton, where he met Mrs. Parnell Stafford, a woman of considerable literary tastes and connections who “manifested a great liking for me,” Realf recalled; she employed him as her secretary, exposed him to Latin, French, and the classics, and introduced him to such luminaries as Lady Byron, the widow of the famous poet, and ...

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