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Thomas Gray

Subject: Literature

(1716–71), educated at Eton, with Horace Walpole, and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He accompanied Walpole on a tour of France and Italy in 1739–41, but they quarrelled and returned ...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
84 words

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ) English poet and book collector . Gray’s wide-ranging literary and antiquarian interests were reflected in his collecting, which mainly comprised books on English literature and history (later, natural history as well), along with travel. His library was bequeathed to William Mason ( 1725–97 ) and, after subsequent bequests, was dispersed at auction by R. H. *Evans on 27 November 1845 . A. S. G. Edwards W. P. Jones , ‘ Thomas Gray’s Library ’, Modern Philology , 35 (1937–8), 257–78...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Reference library

Tom Matheson

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ), English pre-Romantic poet , author of the famous Elegy . Gray praises Shakespeare’s poetry, anticipating later image criticism, in a 1742 letter to his Eton school-friend and fellow poet Richard West ( 1716–42 ): ‘In truth, Shakespeare’s language is one of his principal beauties…every word in him is a picture.’ ( See poems on Shakespeare ) Tom...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–1771)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Writers and their Works (3 ed.)

..., Thomas ( 1716–1771 ) British poet Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College ( 1747 ) Poetry An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard ( 1751 ) Poetry Designs by Mr R. Bentley, for Six Poems by Mr T. Gray [including ‘Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat’, ‘Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College’] ( 1753 ) Poetry Odes ( 1757 ) Poetry Poems ( 1768 ) Poetry...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Quick reference

World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
35 words

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ) English poet . His masterpiece was “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” ( 1751 ). Other poems include “Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat” ( 1748 ), and “The Descent of Odin” ( 1768...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Literature
Length:
260 words

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ) Poet , born in London, the son of a scrivener or professional scribe. He was educated at Eton College, with Horace Walpole , whom he accompanied on a tour of France and Italy in 1739–41 , but they quarrelled and returned home separately. In 1742 Gray moved to Cambridge, where he was to live, apart from travels and visits, for the rest of his life. Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College ( 1747 ) was the first of his works to appear in print. Reconciled with Walpole in 1745 , the following year Gray showed him the beginning of...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Reference library

Adam Roberts

The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ), English poet . Dickens was fond of his Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard ( 1751 ); ‘I am ashamed to say of Gray's Church’, he wrote to the Countess Blessington, 26 May 1846 , ‘that I know the Elegy better than the place.’ Chapter 52 of The Old Curiosity Shop closely follows the cadences of the Elegy , although Dickens's sense of the sometimes ponderous sentiments of that poem render it an appropriate text to be found in the mouth of Micawber ( DC 49). Adam Roberts...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
427 words

...Norse and Celtic poetry prompted Gray to produce various imitations, including ‘The Fatal Sisters’ and ‘The Descent of Odin’ (written 1761 ; pub. 1768 ). In 1768 he was made professor of modern history at Cambridge. After his death, William Mason constructed an edition of Gray's poems with accompanying ‘Memoirs’ out of Gray's papers, including his Journal of his visit to the Lakes. This was a model for Boswell 's Life of Johnson , but involved some falsification of the materials. See Correspondence of Thomas Gray , ed. P. Toynbee and L. Whibley...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas   Quick reference

A Dictionary of British History (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
111 words

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ). Gray led a sheltered existence: ‘a life so barren of events as mine’, he wrote. Educated at Eton, he went to Peterhouse, Cambridge, and returned after a grand tour as a fellow‐commoner. In 1756 he transferred across the road to Pembroke College, having found his Peterhouse neighbours boisterous. In 1768 he was made professor of history and, characteristically, did not lecture but worried about it. His poetic fame came in 1750 when his ‘Elegy in a Country Churchyard’ was published. It touched many of the themes that tormented the...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Reference library

J. A. Cannon

The Oxford Companion to British History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
188 words

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ) . Gray led a sheltered existence: ‘a life so barren of events as mine’, he wrote to a friend. Educated at Eton, he went to Peterhouse, Cambridge, and returned after a grand tour as a fellow-commoner. In 1756 he transferred across the road to Pembroke College, having found his Peterhouse neighbours boisterous and noisy. He did not greatly like Cambridge but remained there for the rest of his life. In 1768 he was made professor of history and, characteristically, did not lecture but worried about it. His poetic fame came in 1750 ...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature
Length:
3,056 words
Illustration(s):
1

...than think of Gray as the poet of lyrical isolation par excellence, we now identify a poet whose every gesture of retreat is at once a considered and difficult engagement with important psychological, social, and historical difficulties. Thomas Gray Portrait by John Giles Eccardt, 1747–1748 National Portrait Gallery, London Birth, Education, Adulthood Thomas Gray was born in London to Philip and Dorothy Gray ; they lived above a milliner's shop run by Philip's mother and her sister, and they paid his father rent for the premises. Philip Gray belonged to a...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Chaucer

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ). The poet and scholar was an enthusiast for earlier English and European literature. His commonplace books contain some notes intended for a history of English poetry. He admired Lydgate , in some of whose writing he found ‘a stiller kind of majesty’; but, he says, ‘in images of horrour and a certain terrible greatness’ Lydgate comes ‘far behind Chaucer ’. He does not elaborate on this, but it is interesting that he should find the ‘sublime’ (a contemporary and personal literary ideal) in Chaucer. He also has some clear and sensible...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas (1716–71)   Reference library

The Oxford Guide to Literary Britain & Ireland (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature, Society and culture
Length:
138 words

..., Thomas ( 1716–71 ), poet and scholar: b. London ( City : Cornhill); educ. Eton and Cambridge ( Peterhouse College ); lives in Cambridge ( Peterhouse College ) 1743–56 , ( Pembroke College ) 1756–71 , Professor of History 1768 ; lodges in London ( Bloomsbury : Russell Sq.) 1759–61 ; frequents Ranelagh Gardens ( Chelsea ); visits his mother at Stoke Poges ; visits Southampton 1750 , 1755 , Netley Abbey 1755 , 1764 , Denton , Kingsgate , and Margate 1766 , Old Park , Blundeston , Keswick , and Lake District 1767 , 1769 , Aston ;...

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray (1716–71)   Reference library

Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
136 words

...0Thomas Thomas Gray 1716 – 71 English poet The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r, And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Awaits alike th' inevitable hour, The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751) paths of glory paths of glory lead but to the grave Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast The little tyrant of his fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751) Some village-...

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray (1716–71)   Reference library

Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
1,587 words

...of Thomas Gray (1971) vol. 1 language of the age language of the age language of poetry French, whose verse differs in nothing from prose It has been usual to catch a mouse or two (for form's sake) in public once a year. on refusing the Laureateship letter to William Mason, 19 December 1757; in H. W. Starr (ed.) Correspondence of Thomas Gray (1971) vol. 2 catch a mouse or two in public once a year I shall be but a shrimp of an author. letter to Horace Walpole, 25 February 1768, in H. W. Starr (ed.) Correspondence of Thomas Gray (1971) vol....

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray (171671)   Reference library

Brewer's Famous Quotations

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
496 words

...Thomas Gray 1716 71 English poet Alas, regardless of their doom, The little victims play! No sense have they of ills to come, Nor care beyond to-day. ‘Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College’ (1747). From this title comes A Distant Prospect (1945), a volume of autobiography by Lord Berners (who had attended Eton) Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise. In the same poem. Hence, the proverbial expression. There was a BBC radio show in the late 1940s with the title Ignorance is Bliss , and a film Folly To Be Wise (UK 1952) The curfew tolls...

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray (1716–71)   Quick reference

Oxford Essential Quotations (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
756 words

...0Thomas Thomas Gray 1716 – 71 English poet Ruin seize thee, ruthless King! Confusion on thy banners wait. The Bard (1757) l. 1 ruin seize thee Ruin seize thee, ruthless king confusion on thy banners wait In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm. ‘The Bard’ (1757) l. 73 youth on the prow pleasure at the helm The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Elegy Written in a Country...

Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas   Quick reference

New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
36 words
Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
38 words
Gray, Thomas

Gray, Thomas   Reference library

The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
31 words
Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
(1716–71),educated at Eton, with Horace Walpole, and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He accompanied Walpole on a tour of France and Italy in 1739–41, but they quarrelled and returned home separately. In ...

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