James Thomson(1700-1748), Augustan Age: 18th Century English Literature

Thomson was one of the precursors to the Romantic Revival Movement like Gray, Goldsmith, Collins, Crabbes’ etc. Therefore, his works present the mid-way between classicism and romanticism. He portrays real landscapes largely from his personal knowledge. His work has, however, become insignificant to the extent that he turns to the Elizabethan instead of the Augustan models. He also gives up the use of the heroic couplet that was prevalent at that time. He gives attention to nature which was completely ignored by the neo-classics.

His main works are:

(a) Seasons (1726-30): It is a descriptive poem in four parts that belong in many ways to the Augustan School. It is written in blank verse and charged with didacticism. Its vocabulary is highly Latinised, and its style is often frigid and bombastic. It presents the changes that take place in nature with the change of seasons.

(b) The Castle of Indolence (1748): It is a poem in which the poet weaves, a romantic, imaginative, and charming castle occupied by ‘Indolence’ who has been shown as an enchanter. It is written in the Spenserian stanza with Spenserian imagery.

(c) Liberty (1736)

(d) Sophonisba (1729): It is a play.

(e) Alfred (1740)

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