Date of Award
Master of Science
Master of English
A casual reader of the poetry of James Thomson will probably be impressed by the frequency with which he gives expression to his poems on the subject of hopelessness, sorrow and despair. Accepting as a general definition of the term morbid, a statement such as "having a deep concern with death and subjects related thereto," one would be certain to describe the poetry of James Thomson as morbid.
It is the purpose of this paper to analyze the poetry of this writer with the intent of (1) explaining the nature of his morbidity and (2) suggesting possible reasons why he gave a feeling of morbidity to the expression of many of his poems.
In order to understand more clearly why James Thomson and other poets of the Victorian era gave morbid expression to most of their poems, one must first understand conditions in society and the spirit of the time which caused a general morbidity. There were two forces at work in the life and thought of Victorian England which influenced the literature of the period more than any other factor. It was (1) dissension in the church and (2) the advance of science. These are not separate but interdependent forces; each acted upon the other and did much to determine the spirit of the age and literature.
Anne L. Campbell
Prairie View A&M College
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Date of Digitization
John B Coleman Library
City of Publication
Fowler, I. M. (1950). The Morbid Element in the Poetry of James Thomson. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/pvamu-theses/608