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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Bishop Beilby Porteus


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Bishop Beilby Porteus : Death

'...a small thick volume, bound in black morocco, and comprising four reprinted works of the eighteenth century. Gloomy, funeral poems of an order as wholly out of date as are the cross-bones an druffled cherubim on the gravestones in a country churchyard. The four - and in this order, as I never shall forget - were "The Last Day" of a Dr. Young, "Blair's Grave", "Death" by Bishop Beilby Porteus, and "The Deity" of Samuel Boyse ... How I came to open this solemn volume is explained by the oppressive exclusiveness of our Sundays ... [explains how this reading matter was approved, and how it was taken into the garden] Thither then I escaped with my grave-yard poets, and who shall explain the rapture with which I followed their austere morality?' Later, 'Beilby Porteus I discarded from the first as impenetrable.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Edmund Gosse      Print: Book


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