He was born in Dublin, and educated at Trinity College. Having decided to follow a literary career, in 1820 he went to London, where he published his first poem, Errors of Ecstasie (1822). He also wrote for the London Magazine, under the pseudonym of John Lacy. In it appeared his best story, Lilian of the Vale. Various other books followed, including Sylvia, or The May Queen, a poem (1827). Thereafter he joined the Athenaeum, in which he showed himself a severe critic. He was also a dramatist and studied old English plays, editing those of Beaumont and Fletcher in 1840. So deeply was he imbued with the spirit of the 17th century that his poem, "It is not beauty I desire," was included by F. T. Palgrave in the first edition of his Golden Treasury as an anonymous lyric of that age.
He wrote a number of songs such as “I've been Roaming” once very popular, much belauded by Coleridge. Playwright Dion Boucicault was a nephew. His grandnephew was the famous Irish musician Arthur Warren Darley.
He was also a mathematician of considerable talent, and published some treatises on the subject. Darley fell into nervous depression and died on 23 November 1846 in London.
- Errors of Ecstasie
- Sylvia, or The May Queen
- Thomas a Beckett; ADramatic Chronical
- Popular Algebra
- Familiar Astronomy, Darley, G., Taylor & W. London, 1830.
- I've been Roaming
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cousin, John William (1910). "Darley, George". A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource
- The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)