The Life of Thomas Chatterton: With Criticisms on his Genius and Writings, and a Concise View of the Controversy Concerning Rowley's Poems by George Gregory
The poet and forger Thomas Chatterton (1752-70) is known today to have been the author of the Rowley poems, a series of compositions in medieval English. Chatterton claimed to have transcribed them from manuscripts written by a fifteenth-century monk, Thomas Rowley. After Chatterton's tragic early death, however, debate raged about the provenance of the poems. This biography, published in 1789, engages powerfully in that debate. Scholar and cleric George Gregory (1754-1808) makes every effort to defend Chatterton against the accusations of forgery, tackling each objection point by point, not least the question of why eighteenth-century syntax appears in the Rowley poems. Paired with Cottle and Southey's three-volume collection of Chatterton's work (also reissued in this series), this book attests to the growth of his influence and remains relevant to students and scholars of English literature.