Brunström, Conrad. William Cowper: Religion, Satire, Society. Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 2004. A critical study of the poet’s significance. Aimed at serious scholars.
Cowper, William. The Centenary Letters. Edited by Simon Malpas. Manchester, England: Fyfield Books, 2000. A collection of Cowper’s correspondence with a biographical introduction by Malpas.
Ella, George Melvyn. William Cowper: Poet of Paradise. Durham, England: Evangelical Press, 1993. Criticism and interpretation of Cowper’s work with an extensive bibliography.
Free, William Norris. William Cowper. New York: Twayne, 1970. This 215-page work takes a biographical approach to interpretations of The Task, Olney Hymns, and Cowper’s short poems. Norris suggests that Cowper’s experiences had influence on poetic elements such as theme, structure, tone, and metaphor. Includes a lengthy bibliography, notes, and an index.
Hopps, Gavin, and Jane Stabler, eds. Romanticism and Religion from William Cowper to Wallace Stevens. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2006. Contains an essay on Cowper’s poetry that presents his religious views and places him among the Romanticists.
King, James. William Cowper: A Biography. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1986. The standard biography that corrected many of the oversights and inaccuracies of early biographies. The poetical works are discussed as markers in the chronology of Cowper’s life. The 340-page work includes an extensive index and notes.
Newey, Vincent. Cowper’s Poetry: A Critical Study and Reassessment. Totowa, N.J.: Barnes & Noble, 1982. Newey’s intelligent approach closely examines Cowper’s work psychodramatically and sees the poet as a genius craftsperson of complex, contemporary, relevant poetry. The 358-page volume looks at The Task, moral satires, hymns, and comic verse. Includes a chronology and index of persons and works.
Nicholson, Norman. William Cowper. 1951. Reprint. London: Longman, 1970. A comprehensive critical work that primarily discusses the influence of the evangelical revival on Cowper. Nicholson sees Evangelicalism as a vigorous and emotional movement that paralleled Romanticism. Although Cowper’s poetic sensibility first developed under Evangelicalism, his early poetry reflects contemporary religious and social thought and later becomes partially independent of the movement to share aspects with Romanticism.
Ryskamp, Charles. William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1959. This 270-page book studies Cowper’s life and works before 1786, focusing on his life and literary activities as a Templar and gentleman. Appendixes include previously uncollected letters, essays, poems, and contributions to magazines. Supplemented by illustrations, notes on Cowper’s friends and relatives, and an index.