George Crabbe: An English Life, 1754-1832
George Crabbe is today most widely known as the author of PETER GRIMES, FROM THE BOROUGH (1810), one of a sequence of verse- narrative collections (the others include THE VILLAGE (1783), THE PARISH REGISTER (1807), TALES (1812) and TALES OF THE HALL (1819)), usually regarded as his major works. The reputation of that extraordinary poem has, however, tended to eclipse its equally fascinating author who was also a surgeon, a clergyman, a botanist, a novelist- an ambitious, resourceful and remarkably modern self- made professional man. Crabbe devoted his middle years to his children and to his increasingly ill wife, after whose death he embarked (at the age of sixty) on an astonishingly active and wide- ranging second life. George Crabbe: An English Life will for the first time, chart this extraordinary man's progress from an impoverished, provincial childhood to late eighteenth- century London society; thence through a sometimes unexpectedly turbulent career in Suffolk and Lincolnshire as country parson, ducal chaplain and natural historian; and on to the last twenty years when, as rector of Trowbridge in Wiltshire, he travelled widely, met the great literary figures of the early nineteenth- century and fell in love with some remarkable young women. Furthermore, this book will include a radical reinterpretation of some of his poetry and will provide a portrait of an unexpectedly attractive and eccentric character.
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