Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard and Other Poems: Vol. 1

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5.5 X 8.5 X 0.24 inches | 0.31 pounds

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About the Author
Thomas Gray (1716-71) spent much of his adult life in Cambridge, eventually becoming professor of modern history there. He is buried in the churchyard of St Giles, Stoke Poges, the setting for his poem.
William Cowper (1731-1800) was an English poet and hymnodist, widely regarded as one of the most important poets of the Romantic era. He is best known for his naturalistic poetry that reflects on the beauty of nature and the importance of individual freedom. Cowper was born in Hertfordshire, England, and spent much of his early life suffering from depression and anxiety. He was educated at Westminster School and studied law, but never practiced. Instead, he focused on his writing, and published his first book of poems in 1782. Cowper's most famous work is "The Task," a long poem that celebrates the beauty of nature and reflects on the role of the individual in society. The poem is known for its vivid descriptions of the English countryside and its reflection on the importance of freedom and individuality. In addition to his poetry, Cowper is also known for his hymns, many of which are still sung today. Some of his most famous hymns include "God Moves in a Mysterious Way," "O for a Closer Walk with God," and "There is a Fountain Filled with Blood." Cowper's personal life was marked by tragedy and mental illness. He suffered several nervous breakdowns throughout his life and attempted suicide on several occasions. Despite his struggles, however, he continued to write and is regarded as one of the most important poets of his time. Overall, Cowper's contributions to English literature and his influence on the Romantic movement continue to be celebrated today. His poetry and hymns remain popular and his personal struggles have helped to inspire a greater understanding and acceptance of mental illness.