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Thomas Warton

(1728—1790) poet and historian


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(1728–90),

brother of Joseph Warton, was professor of poetry at Oxford (1757–67), and became poet laureate in 1785, an appointment celebrated in the Probationary Odes (see Rolliad). His many poetic works included odes, sonnets (a form then unfashionable, which he did much to revive), and light verse; he edited the early poems of Milton (1785). He also edited The Oxford Sausage (1764), a celebrated miscellany of university verse. He was elected to Dr Johnson's Club in 1782. He is best remembered for his valuable work The History of English Poetry (3 vols, 1774–81), the first literary history of any real scope, which throws much light on the taste of the time and the interest in primitivism, and has been seen as an important stage in the transition towards Romanticism.

Subjects: Literature.


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