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Thomas Gray to Richard Stonhewer, [December 1761]

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For my part I will stick to my credulity, and if I am cheated, think it worse for him [the translator] than for me. The Epic Poem is foolishly so called, yet there is a sort of plan and unity in it very strange for a barbarous age; yet what I more admire are some of the detached pieces – the rest I leave to the discussion of antiquarians and historians; yet my curiosity is much interested in their decision.

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Letter ID: letters.0403 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 45
Addressee: Stonhewer, Richard, 1728-1809
Addressee's age: 33[?]


Date of composition: [December 1761]
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: For my part I will stick to my credulity, and if I am cheated, think it worse...
Mentioned: Macpherson, James, 1736-1796
Macpherson, James, 1736-1796

Holding Institution

Availability: The original letter is unlocated, a copy, transcription, or published version survives

Print Versions

  • The Poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings by W[illiam]. Mason. York: printed by A. Ward; and sold by J. Dodsley, London; and J. Todd, York, 1775, section iv, 287 note
  • 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. 351*, vol. ii, 767