Gray, Thomas biographical name
(born Dec. 26, 1716, London, Eng.died July 30, 1771, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire) British poet. He studied and later settled at Cambridge, where he wrote poems of wistful melancholy filled with truisms phrased in striking, quotable lines. Though his output was small, he became the dominant poetic figure in his day. He is remembered especially for An Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard (1751), one of the best known of English lyric poems and the greatest work of the English graveyard school. After its overwhelming success, his next two poems met a disappointing response, and he virtually ceased writing.
Thomas Gray, detail of an oil painting by John Giles Eccardt; in the National Portrait Gallery,
—Courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, London
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