Percy, Thomas. (1729 - 1811).
L i f e
- a scholarly bishop x but: did not feel pressurised to concentrate his energies on theology only
W o r k
- interested in literature outside narrowly defined canons > pioneered the explorations of alternative literary traditions
T r a n s l a t i o n s :
Hau Kiou Choaan, or The Pleasing History (1761):
- a Chinese novel translated from the Portuguese
Five Pieces of Runic Poetry Translated from the Islandic Language (1763):
- translations from the Icelandic ‘improved’ by the translator, aimed for the market for ‘ancient poetry’ newly opened by James Macpherson’s Ossian
B a l l a d s :
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765):
- a 3-volume collection of ballad poetry, based on various 17th century manuscripts now known as ‘The Percy Folio’
- edited and ‘improved’ x but: with an alertness to the virtues of a plain mode of expression
- also visually pleasing: vignettes on the title pages, copperplate engravings in each of the three parts of the three volumes
> foreshadowed the ballad revival in English poetry characteristic of the Romantic movement
The Hermit of Warkworth (1771):
- his original ballad on the Warkworth castle
- combined the ballad vogue and the vogue for the ‘Churchyard Poets’
"Over the mountains, / And over the waves, / Over the fountains, / And under the graves; / Over the floods that are deepest, / Which do Neptune obey; / Over the rocks that are steepest, / Love will find out the way."
From "The Great Adventurer".
(Painting: Steven van der Meulen. Source: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorBorn Thomas Piercy. Later Percy. (1729 - 1811). British.
WorkTranslator. Ballad writer and collector. Author of Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765).
GenresPre-Romanticism. Historicism. Ballad.
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