Graveyard Poets Criticism: Major Figures - Essay

Samuel Johnson (essay date 1781)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Johnson, Samuel. “Gray.” In Lives of the English Poets, Vol. 3, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, 421-45. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1781, Johnson provides a brief overview of Gray's life and claims that there is more to be celebrated in the life that he lived than in the poetry he created, in which he finds very little originality.]

Thomas Gray, the son of Mr. Philip Gray, a scrivener1 of London, was born in Cornhill2, November 26, 17163. His grammatical education he received at Eton under the care of Mr. Antrobus, his mother's brother, then assistant to Dr. George, and...

(The entire section is 10626 words.)

Samuel Johnson (essay date 1781)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Johnson, Samuel. “Parnell.” In Lives of the English Poets, Vol. 2, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, 49-56. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1781, Johnson provides a brief overview of Parnell's life and claims that his poems, while not works that stemmed from a great mind, have a pleasant sense about them which was enjoyable to the writer himself as well as the reader.]

The Life of Dr. Parnell is a task which I should very willingly decline, since it has been lately written by Goldsmith1, a man of such variety of powers and such felicity of performance that he always seemed to do best that which he was...

(The entire section is 2799 words.)

Cecil V. Wicker (essay date 1952)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Wicker, Cecil V. “Young as Romanticist” and “Young's Melancholy and His Relation to the Graveyard School.” In Edward Young and the Fear of Death: A Study of Romantic Melancholy. 11-22; 23-27. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1952.

[In the following essays, Wicker argues that Young strove to be original in his works and that he treated the melancholy of his day in a new fashion that led to Romanticism. This Romanticism can be seen in the Graveyard tradition, of which Young was one of the founders.]

YOUNG AS ROMANTICIST

What this humour is, or whence it proceeds, how it is engendered in the body,...

(The entire section is 6865 words.)