ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Spence

(1699-1768)


The son of a Hampshire clergyman, Joseph Spence attended Eton before being elected scholar at Winchester (1715); he was admitted to Magdalen College Oxford in 1717 (B.A. from New College Oxford 1724, Fellow 1724, M.A. 1727). Spence was vicar of Great Horwood (1742), Prebendary of Durham (1754-68), Oxford Poetry Professor (1728-38) and Professor of Modern History (1742-68). He was on terms of friendship with Whig and Tory writers alike. A serious bibliophile, Spence was able to retire on the proceeds from his major work, Polymetis.

TEXT RECORDS:

1740 ca.Anecdotes, Observations, and Characters of Books and Men.
1746The Three First Stanza's of the 24th Canto of Dante's Inferna made into a Song.
1747Defects of our Modern Poets, in their Allegories: instanced from Spenser's Fairy Queen.
1747The Picture of Human Life. Translated from the Greek of Cebes, a Disciple of Socrates.
1748Allegory of Art and Nature.
1753The Choice of Hercules: A Lesson of Socrates; recorded by Xenophon.

PUBLICATIONS:

An essay on Pope's Odyssey. 1726, 1727.
A full and authentick account of Stephen Duck. 1731.
Some account of Lord Buckhurst; Gorbuduc. 1736.
Polymetis: or an enquiry concerning the agreement between the works of the Roman poets and the remains of the ancient artists. 1747.
An apology for Mr Pope. 1749.
Crito: or a dialogue on beauty. 1752.
A particular account of the Emperour of China's gardens near Pekin. 1752.
Letter to Revd. Mr. G. R. 1753?
Moralities: or essays, letters, fables, and translations. 1753.
Works of Virgil ... with several new observations by Mr. Spence. 1753.
An account of the life, character, and poems of Mr. Blacklock. 1754.
A parallel, in the manner of Plutarch, between a most celebrated man of Florence, and one, scarce ever heard of, in England. 1758.
The picture of human life [Cebes, trans. Spence?]. 1789.
Observations, anecdotes and characters of books and men, ed. Singer. 1820.
Observations, anecdotes, and characters of books and men, ed. James M. Osborn. 2 vols, 1966.