Thomas Gray: Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard

(889 words)
  • Sandro Jung (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg)

Thomas Gray's most important poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is one of those rare mid-eighteenth-century poems that, like William Collins' Ode to Evening, has survived scholarly scrutiny and has been reprinted and extensively commented on in the twentieth century. It is one of the compositions that best express the graveyard tradition, crystallising in the 1740s with texts such as Robert Blair's The Grave and Edward Young's Night Thoughts. Gray started work on the poem in about 1742 and had it printed in 1751 by Horace Walpole at his private Strawberry Hill Press in Twickenham. Apart from the version printed by Walpole and subsequently adopted by such anthologists as Dodsley or Chalmers, there …

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Jung, Sandro. "Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 October 2002
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism