James Thomson

BookJames Thomson

James Thomson

Essays for the Tercentenary

Liverpool English Texts and Studies, 35


November 1st, 1999

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James Thomson: Essays for the Tercentenary is the first collection of essays devoted exclusively to the works of the eighteenth-century Scottish poet James Thomson. The volume is divided into two sections, the first addressing Thomson’s writings themselves, and the second the reception of his works after his death and their influence on later writers. The first section contains essays analysing the politics and aesthetics of Thomson’s major poems and also a reevaluation of Thomson as a heroic dramatist. The second section capitalises on the certainty felt by many in Thomson’s own century that the poet, especially through his most successful poem The Seasons, had won for himself an indelible fame. This volume provides a definitive reappraisal of his achievement for our own times.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Introduction: Thomson’s ‘fame’7
Part 1: Works7
‘O Sophonisba! Sophonisba o!’: Thomson the Tragedian21
‘Can Pure Description Hold the Place of Sense?’: Thomson’s Landscape Poetry41
Thomson and Shaftesbury73
The Seasons and the Politics of Opposition99
James Thomson and the Progress of the Progress Poem: From Liberty to The Castle of Indolence123
Part 2: Posterity147
Thomson and the Druids147
James Thomson and Eighteenth-Century Scottish Literary Identity171
Britannia’s Heart of Oak: Thomson, Garrick and the Language of Eighteenth-Century Patriotism197
Thomson in the 1790s223
‘That is true fame’: A Few Words about Thomson’s Romantic Period Popularity253
Notes on Contributors277