Educated at the High School of Glasgow and the University of Glasgow, Campbell won prizes in in classics and with his poetry. He began tutoring during his holidays and continued following his graduation. In 1797, he travelled to Edinburgh and attended law lectures. In 1799, he published The Pleasures of Hope which achieved instant success. In 1800, he visited various cities in France and Germany. He married his second cousin in 1803 and settled in London. In 1805, he received a government pension of £200 which gave him some degree of literary freedom. In 1809, he published Gertrude of Wyoming which contained some of his best lyrics. In 1820, he became the editor of the The New Monthly Magazine and, in 1826, was elected Lord Rector of Glasgow University. His wife died in 1828 and he gradually withdrew from public life. He retired from the editorship in 1830. After his death in 1844, he was buried in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Campbell was also one of the co-founders of the University of London. His other works include The Battle of the Baltic (1801), Theodric and Other Poems (1824) and The Pilgrim of Glencoe' and Other Poems (1842).
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The Pleasure of Hope, With Other Poems
Love and Madness
The Pleasures of Hope
Specimens of Translation From Medea
The Wounded Hussar
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