Poetic Meditations on Death: A Gothic and Romantic Literary Genre of the Long Eighteenth Century (1693-1858)

Poetic Meditations on Death: A Gothic and Romantic Literary Genre of the Long Eighteenth Century (1693-1858)

By: Evert Jan van Leeuwen (author)Hardback

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This anthology of graveyard poetry is designed to make available to students of English language literature this once popular but now rather obscure genre of eighteenth-century verse. It contains foundational graveyard poems, innovative and original variations, notable and frivolous imitations, and several odd and noteworthy transformations by British and American poets. This work is aimed at students of English and American literature. It brings together in one volume, for the first time, some of the most popular and nfluential religious and spiritually contemplative poems of the mid-eighteenth century, as well as notable and original imitations and adaptations. The anthology illustrates that the genre of graveyard poetry was a transatlantic phenomenon that lasted well into the nineteenth century, to which both popular and serious poets - even a poet laureate - contributed. The diverse selection of poems emphasizes the genre's religious roots, but equally shows how the later eighteenth-century fashion for sentimental melancholy, aesthetic development in Romanticism, and the popular gothic craze helped transform and prolong the genre's popular appeal.

About Author

Dr. Evert Jan van Leeuwen received his PhD (cum laude) from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is currently a lecturer in English and American literature and culture at Leiden University, and specializes in the relations between forms of belief and the creative imagination in English-language horror and supernatural culture in both classic literature and popular fiction.


Foreword by Penny Pritchard; Acknowledgements/Introduction by Evert Jan van Leeuwen; Graveyard Poetry and the English Literary Canon; Graveyard Poetry and Eighteenth-Century Popular Culture; Inventing a Genre: a Survey of Graveyard Criticism; A Note on the Texts; Part I: Early Graveyard Poems; Thomas Yalden: "A Hymn to Darkness" (1693); John Pomfret: "A Prospect of Death: A Pindarick Essay" (1702; Thomas Parnell:A Night-Piece on Death "(1722); Edward Young: "The Complaint: or, Night Thoughts on Life, Death Immortality, "Night the First" (1742); Robert Blair: The Grave (1743); Joseph Warton: "Ode XIV. To Solitude (1746); Thomas Warton: Pleasures of melancholy (1747); Thomas Gray: An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751); Part II: Eighteenth-Century Imitations and Adaptations; Thomas Godfrey: "A Night Piece" (1758); Beilby Porteus: Death: A Poetical Essay (1759); John Cunningham: An Elegy on a Pile of Ruins (1761); The Contemplatist:; A Night-Piece (1762); Elizabeth Carter: "Ode to Melancholy" (1762); AND MORE.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773442658
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 340
  • ID: 9780773442658
  • ISBN10: 0773442650

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