The poetry of the Graveyard School - gloomy meditations on mortality, often composed in churchyards - was immensely popular in 18th-century England and was an important forerunner of the Romantic period and a major influence on the development of the Gothic novel. Yet, despite the unquestioned significance of the Graveyard Poets, critical attention has been scant, and until now there has been no critical anthology of their works.
The Graveyard School: An Anthology
features works by thirty-three authors and provides a broad and comprehensive examination of the phenomenon of Graveyard poetry. Included are seminal works, such as Robert Blair's "The Grave", Thomas Parnell's "A Night Piece on Death", and excerpts from Edward Young's Night Thoughts
, as well as once-popular but now little-remembered poems by authors like Mark Akenside, James Beattie, and James Hervey. Of particular interest in this collection is its inclusion and discussion of authors not normally associated with the Graveyard School, such as Alexander Pope and Washington Irving, as well as a number of female poets, among them Susanna Blamire and Charlotte Smith.
Edited by Prof. Jack G. Voller, who provides an introduction and extensive annotations throughout, this volume of melancholy and macabre verse is certain to be welcomed by scholars and students of 18th-century and Gothic literature, as well as those readers interested in the darker side of literature.