Darley published his first poem, Errors of Ecstasie, in 1822. He also wrote for the London Magazine, under the pseudonym of John Lacy. In it appeared his best-known story, Lilian of the Vale, which Edgar Allan Poe thought had "wonderfully succeeded." Various other books followed, including Sylvia, or The May Queen, a poem (1827).
Thereafter Darley joined the Athenaeum, in which he became a severe critic. He was also a dramatist and studied old English plays, editing those of Beaumont and Fletcher in 1840. 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 the 17th century.
He was also a mathematician, and published some treatises on the subject.
Other works included:
- Syliva; or, The May Queen
- The Mermaidens' Vesper-Hymn
- The Sea-Bride
- Thomas à Beckett: A Dramatic Chronicle in Five Acts
- Popular Algebra
- Familiar Astronomy, Darley, G., Published by John Taylor, London, 1830.
A. E. Housman said of a passage from his poem Nepenthe, "Admirers of the sea may call that a lampoon or a caricature, but they cannot deny that it is life-like: the man who wrote it had seen the sea, and the man who reads it sees the sea again".
- Housman, A.E. (1989). "Swinburne". Collected Poems and Selected Prose. Penguin Books. p. 292.
- Wood, James, ed. (1907). "Darley, George". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.
- 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