Tom Hood - Biography


Hood was born at Lake House, Leytonstone, England, the son of the poet Thomas Hood and his wife. After attending University College School and Louth Grammar School, he entered Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1853. There he studied for the Church and passed all the examinations for the degree of BA, but did not graduate.

At Oxford he wrote his Farewell to the Swallows (1853) and Pen and Pencil Pictures (1854). He began to write for the Liskeard Gazette in 1856, and edited that paper in 1858-1859. In 1861 he wrote Quips and Cranks, and Daughters of King Daher, and other Poems. The next year, he published Loves of Tom Tucker and Little Bo-Peep, a Rhyming Rigmarole, followed in 1864 by Yere Vereker's Vengeance, a Sensation, and in 1865 by Captain Master's Children, a Novel, and Jingles and Jokes for the Little Folks. His novels included A Disputed Inheritance, Golden Heart, [A Lost Link, Captain Masters's Children (1865), and Love and Valour.

He also wrote two books on English verse composition, several children's books (in conjunction with his sister, Frances Freeling Broderip), and a body of magazine and journal articles. Hood drew with considerable facility, and illustrated several of his father's comic verses, some of which were collected in his father's book, Precocious Piggy.

Meanwhile, in 1860, the younger Hood obtained a position in the War Office, which he served for five years.

In 1865 he left when selected as editor of Fun, the comic paper, which became very popular under his direction.

In private life, Hood's geniality and sincere friendliness secured him the affection and esteem of a wide circle of acquaintance. Some of these friends became contributors to his publications. For example, he befriended the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, a frequent contributor to Fun. Hood wrote the burlesque, Robinson Crusoe; or, The Injun Bride and the Injured Wife (1867), together with Gilbert, H. J. Byron, H. S. Leigh and Arthur Sketchley. Hood's Fun gang also included playwright Thomas W. Robertson, among others. In 1867 he first issued Tom Hood's Comic Annual.

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