The Life, and Posthumous Writings, of William Cowper, Esqr.: Volume 1: With an Introductory Letter to the Right Honourable Earl Cowper

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Cambridge University Press, 5 paź 2014 - 413
Successors such as Wordsworth and Coleridge admired yet overshadowed William Cowper (1731-1800). Troubled by mental instability, he retreated from both the legal profession and the woman he had hoped to marry, seeking out a quiet existence in the country. In spite of his struggles, he made a translation of Homer's Iliad, produced a considerable body of poetry, and maintained many epistolary contacts. This four-volume biography, compiled by his friend and fellow poet William Hayley (1745-1820), appeared between 1803 and 1806, bringing together selected letters and unpublished poems to illuminate Cowper's personal and literary life. Featuring a frontispiece portrait engraved by William Blake, Volume 1 (1803) contains Hayley's narrative of Cowper's life, interspersed with his letters. Warm-hearted and engaging, the letters also reflect the debilitating changes of his mood and the beginnings of his troubled faith. They date from 1765, just after his first nervous collapse, to 1791.

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