THE SELECTED LETTERS OF THOMAS GRAY by Joseph Wood- Ed Krutch
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THE SELECTED LETTERS OF THOMAS GRAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

More of a classicist than a romantic but a distinctly influential forerunner of the flowering of feeling that characterized the 19th century poets, Gray is presented in Mr. Krutch's introduction as a strong if often neglected element in English literature. The letters, Gray's second claim to fame, reveal the man. Too, they reveal English life- its sentiment and quietude, for Gray was a quiet man; Cambridge, study, the days at Stokes Poges, the literary climate, and the outside world as seen through the eyes of a man who spent his life in seemingly unproductive activity as a Fellow at Cambridge. The introduction is lengthy and exhibits deep interest in the man and his art in relation to the times. There is psychological analysis of Gray with speculation as to his completely unsexual life, his association with the young aristocratic Horace Walpole, his loneliness and the need to bury himself for so many years away from the world. The poems too are spoken of, though not extensively, in their show of feelings about nature that combined with classic metaphor to make Gray a product of the 18th century transition period. A rewarding volume that will be welcomed by scholars of the period.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1952
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young