George Crabbe (1754-1832) was acclaimed by his contemporaries as a major poet. The leading reviewer of the day, Francis Jeffrey, paid tribute to his powerful originality. Byron pronounced him 'Though Nature's sternest Painter, yet the best'. Sir Walter Scott, and Jane Austen, who declared that she would have married him, were among his many admirers. In our own time both critics and poets have praised his penetrating insights into human motivation, his realism, and his unique use of landscape as a setting for his poems and verse tales; and he is well known as the author of Peter Grimes, on which Benjamin Britten based his opera. Yet there has not been a collected edition of his verse since A.W. Ward's, some eighty years ago.
The present edition draws on much recently discovered manuscript material in this country and in the USA, including a finished manuscript, with proofs, of Tales of the Hall, and manuscripts of four unpublished tales and of a number of shorter poems. Close attention has been paid to the evolution of the text from the rough pencil drafts in Crabbe's notebooks to the final version on the printed page. An extensive Commentary relates both to the literary context and to Crabbe's many observations on the social scene of his day.
'The Oxford University Press Complete Poetical Works is very welcome ... the standard of editing and production is very high ... The careful industry of Norma Dalrymple-Champneys and Arthur Pollard has given us a reliable and informative text of a great poet who is still damned with faint praise.
Gavin Edwards, Saint David's University College, Lampeter. Essays in Criticism
'The editors have done a great service in setting Crabbe's work before us once again. No previous edition has assembled so much of the corpus, and none has executed its work with greater care or more useful notes and other editorial apparatus and commentary.'
Jerome McGann, London Review of Books
'It would be premature to hope that this new edition of Crabbe's poetical works will regain for them the esteem and popularity they deserve. But at least they have at last been accorded the appropriate respect of meticulous editing. There was not previous edition with full scholarly apparatus, or even of reliable accuracy. This is a fine edition, the well-shaped fruit of many years' dedicated scholarship.'
Peter New, University of Exeter. Review of English Studies
'This is an excellent edition, exemplifying the highest standards of research, editing, and learning ... it does full justice, in respect of presentation and commentary, to Crabbe's originality, realism, and powers of pathos, satire, description, and narrative.'
Donald Sultana, University of Edinburgh, Notes and Queries
'Crabbe's own words, now more fully and accurately available than ever before in this excellent new edition, deserve more attention than, through the injustices of fashion, they have received'
Peter New, University of Exeter, British Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies
Series: Oxford English Texts : Book 1
Number Of Pages: 870
Published: 28th April 1988
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.24
Weight (kg): 1.21