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Thomas Gray: A Life Hardcover – October 11, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (October 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300084994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300084993
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,723,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

English poet Thomas Gray (1716-1771) penned many wonderful poems in addition to the beloved and oft-quoted "Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard," but the "Elegy" is, by general consensus, his supreme achievement. It is fitting, then, that Mack, a lecturer in English at the University of Exeter, should open his excellent biographyAthe first major work on Gray's life in almost 50 yearsAwith a discussion of what he calls "one of the most moving and effective meditations on death ever to have been written in English." He posits Gray as a literary and historical forebear to such "AIDS elegists" as Thom Gunn, Paul Monette and Reynolds Price. Mack's reading of Gray's work is informed by contemporary critical theory (gender studies in particular), while archival research and new discoveries about Gray's family and personal life provide a fuller, clearer and more colorful picture of this seminal poet who so clearly prefigures the full flowering of English Romanticism. As for the life, Mack's thoroughAand thoroughly absorbingAaccount regards Gray's "romantic attachments" to various men more forthrightly than any previous biography. He sees in the poet's sexuality one of the "deeper, motivating subtexts of Gray's poetry." What we discover here is not an entirely new Thomas Gray, but new insights into the poet's life and ongoing concerns, which include "issues of perception, intuition, and poetic authority," as well as the "possible limits of human knowledge and experience," themes that continue to engage us more than 200 years after the poet's deathAand that will draw to this volume students of poetry, English literature and Romanticism. 50 illus. Agent, Stephanie Cabot, William Morris Agency. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Robert L. Mack is lecturer in English at the University of Exeter.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. bollinger on August 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Well, as close as you can get for this member of the 'Graveyard School' of poetry. Very well written and engaging book. Richly detailed in the history and atmosphere of the eighteenth century. All of Gray's (rather short) body of work is touched upon from early translations to his stiching together of lines from other poets (forerunner of William Burroughs cut-up method) to the classic 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'. This book is not a dry read as it relies extensively on the use of the letters of Gray and Horace Walpole among others. Extremely well researched by Mr. Mack. I enjoyed this highly readable book from start to finish and recommended it to anyone with an interest in the "Graveyard School" of poetry or the eighteenth century in general.
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By daniel bisson on November 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
another wonderful book
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