Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/24289
Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Thomas Gray and the Goths: Philology, Poetry, and the Uses of the Norse Past in Eighteenth-Century England
Authors: Jackson, Williams Kelsey
Contact Email: k.j.williams@stir.ac.uk
Issue Date: Sep-2014
Publisher: University of Oxford Press
Citation: Jackson Williams K (2014) Thomas Gray and the Goths: Philology, Poetry, and the Uses of the Norse Past in Eighteenth-Century England, Review of English Studies, 65 (271), pp. 694-710.
Abstract: In 1761 Thomas Gray composed two loose translations of Old Norse poems: The Fatal Sisters and The Descent of Odin. This article reconstructs Gray’s complex engagement with the world of seventeenth-century Scandinavian scholarship: recovering the texts he used, the ideologies contained within them, and the ways in which he naturalized those ideologies into his own vision of the history of English literature. Gray became aware of Old Norse poetry in the course of composing a never-completed history of English poetry in the 1750s, but this article argues that it was not until the publication of James Macpherson’s Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760) that Gray became inspired to engage poetically with the Scandinavian past. Imitating Macpherson, he created his own ‘translations’ of what he understood to be the British literary heritage and, in doing so, composed a vivid and surprising variation on the grand myths of early modern Scandinavian nationalism.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/24289
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/res/hgu024
Rights: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Review of English Studies following peer review. The version of record, Kelsey Jackson Williams, 'Thomas Gray and the Goths: Philology, Poetry, and the Uses of the Norse Past in Eighteenth-Century England', Review of English Studies (2014) 65 (271): 694-710. doi: 10.1093/res/hgu024 is available online at: http://res.oxfordjournals.org/content/65/271/694
Affiliation: English Studies

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