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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [17 December 1752]

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The Honble Horace Walpole Esq
in Arlington Street

I sent to Dodsley some time since, who wrote to me by your order, what little alterations I had to make, & should be glad to know, whether you thought them for the better or the worse. he tells me now, he could finish in a fortnight, if I were in town, but this would be very inconvenient to me at present, so I must have the Sheets sent me to correct hither, & I suppose, it may come out in less than a Month ....

[ ] . . . you may imagine, I do not expect any thing very particular on either of these subjects, but some sort of satisfaction you will easily know how to give me in a letter; as it will be a good while, before I can see you.

Adieu, I am ever
T G.

Have you read Mad: Maintenon's Letters? or the Micromegas, or the dull Life of Dr Tillotson. I have gone thro' the 3d Vol: of the Biographia, wch will be a great Relief to you after Bayle's pedantic bawdy: all the Lives, mark'd with an E or a C, have something curious in them, those with a G are abominable foolish.

I have just received the first Proofs from Dodsly. I thought it was to be a Qto, but it is a little Folio. the Stanzas are number'd, wch I do not like.

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Letter ID: letters.0196 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 36
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 35


Date of composition: [17 December 1752]
Date (on letter): Dec: 17. Sunday
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Camb:ge
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To / The Honble Horace Walpole Esq / in Arlington Street / London (postmark: SAFFRON WALDEN 18 DE)


Language: English
Incipit: I sent to Dodsley some time since, who wrote to me by your order,...
Mentioned: Designs by Mr. R. Bentley (1753)
Biographia Britannica
Bayle, Pierre
Birch, Thomas
Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764
Maintenon, Mme de

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/56, College Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge , Cambridge, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Correspondence of Gray, Walpole, West and Ashton (1734-1771), 2 vols. Chronologically arranged and edited with introduction, notes, and index by Paget Toynbee. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915, letter no. 181, vol. ii, 125-127
  • The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence. Ed. by W. S. Lewis. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP; London: Oxford UP, 1937-83, vols. 13/14: Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton i, 1734-42, Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray ii, 1745-71, ed. by W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam and Charles H. Bennett, 1948, vol. ii, 61-62
  • Correspondence of Thomas Gray, 3 vols. Ed. by the late Paget Toynbee and Leonard Whibley, with corrections and additions by H. W. Starr. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971 [1st ed. 1935], letter no. 170, vol. i, 366-367