ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Shenstone

(1714-1763)


William Shenstone was a near-contemporary of Samuel Johnson at Pembroke College Oxford (B.A. 1732) where he formed lasting ties with his future correspondents, Richard Jago and Richard Graves. In 1743 Shenstone retired to his paternal farm, The Leasowes, which he made a showpiece for the new style of gardening. Lord Lyttelton's Hagley Park was nearby. Shenstone corresponded with Thomas Warton, assisted Robert Dodsley with his landmark Collection of Poems, and Thomas Percy with the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Richard Graves's novel Columella (1779) is based on Shenstone's life.


TEXT RECORDS:

1737Colemira. A Culinary Eclogue.
1737The School-Mistress. A Poem. In imitation of Spencer's Stile.
1741To the same, with some Observations on Spenser.
1742The School-Mistress, a Poem.
1742To Mr. Graves, on Benevolence and Friendship.
1742To the same [Rev. Richard Graves], on the Publication of the School-mistress.
1742To the same [Rev. Richard Graves], with a Continuation of the same Subject [Spenser].
1743A Pastoral Ballad, in four Parts.
1745 ca.Oeconomy, a Rhapsody, addressed to young Poets.
1745To the same [Rev. Richard Graves], with Observations on the Rebellion, and its probable Consequences.
1745To the same [Rev. Richard Graves], with Remarks on the Execution and Behavior of Lords Kilmarnock and Balmerino.
1748The School-Mistress, a Poem in imitation of Spenser.
1748To a Friend [Rev. Richard Jago?] on Various Subjects.
1748To the Rev. Mr. Graves, at Whitchurch, near Reading, Berks.
1748[William Shenstone to Lady Luxborough.]
1750Rural Elegance: an Ode to the Late Duchess of Somerset. Written 1750.

PUBLICATIONS:

Poems upon various occasions. 1737.
The judgment of Hercules, a poem. 1741.
The school-mistress; a poem. 1742.
Cleone. 1758.
Works in verse and prose, ed. Robert Dodsley. 2 vols, 1764.
Miscellaneous poems, revised and corrected by Mr. Shenstone. 1771.
Works. 3 vols, 1773.
Select letters between the late Duchess of Somerset, Lady Luxborough, William Shenstone, and others, ed. Hull. 2 vols, 1778.
Poetical works, ed. George Gilfillan. 1854.
Poetical works. 1880.
Essays on men and manners. 1927.
Letters, ed. Marjory Williams. 1939.
Letters, ed. Duncan Mallam. 1939.
Shenstone's miscellany 1759-63, ed. Ian A. Gordon. 1952.
The correspondence of Thomas Percy and William Shenstone, ed. Cleanth Brooks and A. F. Falconer. 1977.