Home » Cowpers Task: Structure and Influence by Martin Priestman
Cowpers Task: Structure and Influence Martin Priestman

Cowpers Task: Structure and Influence

Martin Priestman

Published August 31st 1983
ISBN : 9780521236430
Hardcover
224 pages
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 About the Book 

William Cowper (1731 1800) is one of the most interesting of late eighteenth-century poets. His poetry is notable as heralding a simpler and more natural style than the classical style of Pope and his imitators, and thus prefiguring the profoundMoreWilliam Cowper (1731 1800) is one of the most interesting of late eighteenth-century poets. His poetry is notable as heralding a simpler and more natural style than the classical style of Pope and his imitators, and thus prefiguring the profound innovations of Romanticism. Though Cowper himself has attracted attention as either a religious maniac or a lovably domestic character, his most important poetry has been neglected. This book, which was originally published in 1983, is the first complete critical study of his major long poem The Task. Furthermore, by carefully examining the procedures whereby an autobiographical element is introduced into the poem, the author shows how the concerns and techniques of The Task influenced the major autobiographical poem of the Romantic period, Wordsworths The Prelude. The connection between the two poems had often been acknowledged in passing, but prior to this work The Task had not been surveyed in sufficient detail to establish the full weight and importance of this connection.