George Crabbe(24 December 1754 - 3 February 1832)
Works in ECPA
- THE BIRTH OF FLATTERY. ()
- THE HALL OF JUSTICE. IN TWO PARTS. ()
- THE LIBRARY. ()
- THE NEWSPAPER. ()
- THE PARISH REGISTER. IN THREE PARTS. ()
- REFLECTIONS UPON THE SUBJECT — — ()
- SIR EUSTACE GREY. ()
- THE VILLAGE. IN TWO BOOKS. ()
- WOMAN! MR. LEDYARD, AS QUOTED BY MUNGO PARKE IN HIS TRAVELS INTO AFRICA — ()
George Crabbe was born in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, eldest child of George Crabbe (1733-86),
who had been a schoolmaster but was then working as a local customs official, and
his wife Mary, née Lodwick (1725-80). Crabbe received his earliest education from
his father, and later attended grammar schools at Bungay and Stowmarket. Aged 14,
he was apprenticed to a farmer–apothecary, but the apprenticeship was dissolved and
Crabbe began to work for a surgeon in Woodbridge. While Crabbe was at Woodbridge,
he read novels and poetry, and began contributing pastorals and lyrics to magazines.
His first long poem, Inebriety, was published anonymously in 1775. Here he also met his future wife, Sarah Elmy
(1751–1813). Crabbe embarked on a medical career, he took over an apothecary shop
in Aldeburgh and went to London to study medicine, but after his return, he found
his apothecary shop failing, and in late 1779 he decided to give up medicine. He moved
to London to become a writer. However, he failed to find a publisher for his poems.
His attempts to publish by subscription were also unsuccessful. In a state of mounting
desperation, Crabbe approached Edmund Burke who provided accommodation for him and
introduced Crabbe to his circle of friends, including Johnson, Reynolds, Goldsmith, and Garrick. Burke persuaded Dodsley to publish Crabbe's
The Library, which was well received. Burke also assisted Crabbe with his decision to embark
on a career in the church. Crabbe became a curate at Aldeburgh in 1782 before being
appointed chaplain to the Duke of Rutland later in the year. An elegy Crabbe wrote
for the Duke's deceased brother was incorporated in
The Village (1783), his biggest success, which he completed with the help of Samuel Johnson. The
poem earned him two Crown livings awarded by the Lord Chancellor. Crabbe married Sarah
Elmy in December 1783, the couple lived in and near Belvoir Castle, the seat of the
Duke of Rutland, for several years. In 1785 Crabbe published
The Newspaper, a verse satire on the popular press. After the death of his patron, the widowed
Duchess procured further preferment for Crabbe from the Lord Chancellor. The Crabbes
settled in the rectory at Muston, near Belvoir, in 1789. In 1792, following the death
of Crabbe's wife's uncle John Tovell at Parham, Suffolk, Crabbe and his family moved
to live in Tovell's house, Ducking Hall. Crabbe's next verse production was
The Parish Register, which he began in 1802 and completed after his return to Muston in 1805. It was
published in a volume entitled Poems (1807) along with
Sir Eustace Grey, a revised version of
The Library, reprints of
The Village and
The Newspaper, and some shorter poems. In 1810, Crabbe published The Borough, a series of twenty-four verse letters written to a friend, and in 1812 his Tales. After the death of his wife, Crabbe accepted the livings of Croxton-Kerrial in the
Vale of Belvoir and of Trowbridge, to where he moved in 1814. Crabbe met John Murray
(1778-1843) on one of his visits to London, who became his publisher. He published
Crabbe's new collection of verse stories, Tales of the Hall in 1819 and produced a five-volume edition of Crabbe's Works in 1823 (eight vols., 1838). Crabbe became a member of the Literary Society in 1819
and was admitted to the Athenaeum in 1824. In 1826 he became a magistrate in Trowbridge.
Crabbe died in his rectory at Trowbridge in 1832.
ODNB 6552; NCBEL 609-615; DLB 93
Index of English Literary Manuscripts. Vol. III, 1700-1800 . London: Mansell, 1986-1997. Pt. 1 Addison-Fielding. 293-330. Print. 4 volumes.
Dalrymple-Champneys, Norma and Arthur Pollard, eds. George Crabbe: The Complete Poetical Works. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988. Print. 3 volumes.
Faulkner, Thomas C., ed. with the assistance of Rhonda L. Blair. Selected Letters and Journals of George Crabbe. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985. Print.
Powell, Neil. George Crabbe: an English life, 1754-1832. London: Pimlico, 2004. Print.
Bareham, Terence and Simon Gatrell. A bibliography of George Crabbe. Folkestone, Eng: Dawson; Hamden, Conn: Archon Books, 1978. Print.
A secondary bibliography of George Crabbe: 1975-1989. Bulletin of Bibliography 51(3) (1994): 269-72. Print.
Baines, Paul, Julian Ferraro, Pat Rogers, eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660-1789. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 82-83. Print.
Radcliffe, David H., ed.
Rev. George Crabbe (1754-1832). Spenser and the Tradition: ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830. Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities, Virginia Tech, 2006. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/AuthorRecord.php?recordid=33261.
Bareham, Terence. George Crabbe. London: Vision Press, 1977. Print.
Carnochan, W. B.
The Continuity of Eighteenth-Century Poetry: Gray, Cowper, Crabbe, and the Augustans. Eighteenth-Century Life 12 (1988): 119-27. Print.
Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village, and George Crabbe, The Village. Gerrard, Christine, ed. A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006. 303-315. Print.
Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning. Theme, embodiment and structure in the poetry of George Crabbe. Salzburg: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität Salzburg, 1983. Print.
Crabbe's So-Called Realism. Essays in Criticism 37(4) (1987): 303-20. Print.
Edwards, Gavin. George Crabbe's Poetry on Border Land. Lewiston, NY; Queenston, Ont.; Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1990. Print.
Wordsworth's 'We Are Seven' and Crabbe's 'The Parish Register': Poetry and Anti-Census. Studies in Romanticism 48(1): 2009. 23-65. Print.
Hatch, Ronald B. Crabbe's Arabesque: Social Drama in the Poetry of George Crabbe. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 1976. Print.
Jain, B. B. The Poetry of George Crabbe. Romantic Reassessment, 37. Salzburg: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität Salzburg, 1976. Print.
'The smallest circumstances of the smallest things': domestic interiors in Crabbe's poems. Romanticism 20(2) (2014): 106-16. Print.
Lucas, John. George Crabbe: a critical study. London: Greenwich Exchange, 2015. Print.
McGann, Jerome J.
The Anachronism of George Crabbe. ELH 48 (1981): 555-72. Print.
Nelson, Beth. George Crabbe and the Progress of Eighteenth-Century Narrative Verse. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 1976. Print.
Pollard, Arthur, ed. George Crabbe: the critical heritage. London: Routledge, 1995 . Print.
Crabbe's times. Romanticism 20(2) (2014): 117-27. Print.
Whitehead, Frank S. George Crabbe a reappraisal. Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press; London: Associated University Presses, 1995. Print.
Whitehead, Frank S.
Crabbe, 'realism', and poetic truth. Essays in Criticism 39(1) (1989): 29-46. Print.