James Thomson 1700–48
Brought up in the Scottish borders, Thomson came to London at 25 and eventually became acquainted with the Scriblerus wits: his poetry represents a contemporary alternative to the urban, satiric strain. His four poems on the seasons appeared 1726–30, and the complete work was repeatedly revised to 1746, having great popularity. The blank verse, latinate diction and syntax owe much to Milton. The close study of nature is set in a framework of moral reflection and concern with the great author of the universe. Thomson also wrote dramas and, probably, ‘Rule Britannia’. His last work, The Castle of Indolence (1748), is an allegory which returns to the stanza used by Spenser in The Faerie Queene (1590–6), whose archaic language it echoes.
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