Robert Southey served as the Poet Laureate of England for the last thirty years of his life. He was a member of the so-called "Lake Poets" of the English Romantic School. He is also author of the children's classic The Story of the Three Bears.
Portrait: Robert Southey, painted by John James Masquerier, 1800, public domain
Born in Bristol, England, Southey's first collection of poems was published in 1794, following a collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Southey married the sister of Coleridge's wife and remained close to Coleridge until Coleridge abandoned his wife and three children.
Southey had an interest in America and wrote about life on the new continent, particularly in the creation of communes there. The way in which he lived early in his life reflected this interest, but he abandoned the idea later in life. Southey was friends with many other poets and writers, especially the poet Walter Savage Landor.