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There is a saying that an artist’s work becomes more valuable once the artist is dead. One can say the same about a myriad of authors whose wealth and fame only arrived when they were buried in the ground. Some of these authors are well-known and some are lesser known but when these geniuses were living, their works were considered so bad they were ridiculed and ignored.

As the result, these authors lived and created with little or no money let alone fame and acceptance. In the 18th century, the same happened to a number of writers as well. Let’s see who were the ones that achieved popularity and money only after death in this article.

1. John Keats

Along with Lord Byron, John Keats was one of the most prominent figures in the second generation of English Romantic poets. He was born in 1795 in London and died at the age of twenty-five because of tuberculosis that he developed due to overexertion and exposure during a walking trip in the Lake District.

Despite Keats lived such a short life, he is considered one of the masters of English romantic poetry. During his lifetime, however, his works received very little attention. Even though these works would be considered as remarkable in the future, they were widely ignored.

After Keats’ death, his sensuality and style began to be appreciated in England and other countries. It all started after Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a poem to memorialize him (“Adonais”).

2. William Blake

The life of this poet is an excellent example of being unrecognized during the lifetime. The critics called him mad and widely discredited his works but Blake did not stop in producing his poetry. His unique mental powers had influenced him since childhood because he told his parents about the visions he saw of God and angels. As the result, he did not go to a conventional school and was homeschooled.

Today, however, he is internationally recognized as an artistic and poetic genius. Mark Curry, a literature reviewer from Assignment Helper, writes: Blake has been such an influence on many authors. Did you know he was cited in V for Vendetta by Moore?”

Blake communicated his visions and experiences through his work and was a non-conformist, both in political views and artwork. For example, Blake admired American revolution and supported women who were oppressed in the 18th-century society.

His business was not successful so he ended his days in poverty and obscurity in 1827. Even though his first published work appeared when he was only 26 (Political Sketches, 1783), they did not receive an appreciable attention from the readers. One of the reasons why Blake’s works were ignored was his criticism of King George III’s policy against American colonies, tyranny, and war.

Blake always said that his poetry could be understood by average readers but he did not seek popularity for his views. Eventually, the last years of his life were spent in great poverty.

3. Juan Bautista Aguirre

A precursor of Ecuadorian and Hispanic poetry, Aguirre was born in Ecuador in 1725 to a military captain. He taught at the San Gregorio University before he and other Jesuits of Quito were expelled from the colonial South America in 1767 and moved to Italy, where he continued to work in education.

He is now appreciated for his spiritual, lyrical, and satirical poetry. “As a religious writer,” says Tristan Smith, a literature critic from Awriter, “he skillfully cultivated sacred oratory, and as a poet, he produced many verses that respond to a wide range of moral and religious themes.”

Aguirre died in 1786 but most of his works were not discovered until 1937. That year, one of them, "Castilian verses, youth works, miscellaneous" were found and analyzed by other writers. As the result, Aguirre’s works were published long after he was dead. For example, one of his first printed books, “Poesías y obras oratorias,was released only in 1943.



Today people from all over the world appreciate the work of these poets. Unfortunately, they were ridiculed, ignored, and criticized during their life for being nonconformists, critics of government policies, and coming from an ordinary family.

The lives of these incredible individuals show once again that there is not designated time in which the fortune smiles upon people.


Author Bio

Lucy Benton is a writing coach, an editor who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger, and currently, writes for college essay writing service. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on FaceBook and Twitter.