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The complaint or night thoughts on life…
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The complaint or night thoughts on life death & immortality by Edwd. Young… (original 1745; edition 1798)

by Edward Young

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1805116,334 (4.39)23
During the century after its publication in 1742, 'Night Thoughts' was one of the most popular, widely read and influential poems in the English language. However, there have been no editions of the poem since the middle of the nineteenth century. This edition contains a critical introduction setting the poem in the context of the eighteenth-century sublime. There is a commentary which explains historical and linguistic obscurities, and a history of the poem's publication. The text is based on the first editions of the separate 'Nights', and the old spelling has been retained. The editions are collated here, and all substantive variants recorded. Dr Cornford's critical introduction discusses the conception of the poet's role; Young's attitude to the 'imagination' in the context of contemporary epistemology; eighteenth-century attitudes to death and immortality as expressed in sermons and devotional literature; and the critical reception of the poem in Britain and Europe. This discussion seeks to explain why a poem of Christian consolation, orthodox and ancient in its theology, became a seminal work in a secular cult of sepulchral melancholoy.… (more)
Member:RalphWaldoEmerson
Title:The complaint or night thoughts on life death & immortality by Edwd. Young L.L.D. With the life of the author
Authors:Edward Young
Info:Glasgow : printed for Richd. Scott, 1798.
Collections:Emerson's Library
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Night Thoughts: Or, the Complaint and the Consolation by Edward Young (1745)

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
"I wish I knew something about the modern poets. Nobody will listen to me ... when I say that I am very fond of Young's Night Thoughts." (Letter to Henry Harvey, 20 August 1936.) (Pym, A very private eye. Macmillan, 1984. p. 61.)
  Barbara_Pym | Jul 11, 2017 |
London 1766 this copy no printer .Worn brown leather binding.
The Complaint: or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, & Immortality, better known simply as Night-Thoughts, is a long poem by Edward Young published in nine parts (or "nights") between 1742 and 1745.
The poem is written in blank verse. It describes the poet's musings on death over a series of nine "nights" in which he ponders the loss of his wife and friends, and laments human frailties. The best-known line in the poem is the adage "procrastination is the thief of time". Onslow is the Speaker of the House of Commons. $75 ($250 if better condition or repaired) good reading copy
  antiqueart | Dec 16, 2013 |
The Folio Society's 2005 Limited Edition facsimile of Edward Young's "Night Thoughts" with the 500 or so illustrations for it by William Blake is awesome -- there's no other word for it. ( )
1 vote Lloydville | Jul 1, 2009 |
In 1736 Young's wife, who had three children by her first marriage, died , and her son and his wife died in 1740. Young was seriously ill himself, and with these bereavements came to suffer depression and insomnia. He then wrote The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality.
The poem consists of nine parts, totalling approximately 9000 lines of blank verse, giving moral advice to ‘the worldly and infidel young Lorenzo‘. Part II, Night the Second, is On Time, Death, Friendship; Part IV is The Christian Triumph; V, The Relapse. Dr Johnson called Night Thoughts ‘melancholy and angry’; William Blake provided illustrations for it in 1797. ( )
1 vote KayCliff | May 10, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edward Youngprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blake, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Tourneur, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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During the century after its publication in 1742, 'Night Thoughts' was one of the most popular, widely read and influential poems in the English language. However, there have been no editions of the poem since the middle of the nineteenth century. This edition contains a critical introduction setting the poem in the context of the eighteenth-century sublime. There is a commentary which explains historical and linguistic obscurities, and a history of the poem's publication. The text is based on the first editions of the separate 'Nights', and the old spelling has been retained. The editions are collated here, and all substantive variants recorded. Dr Cornford's critical introduction discusses the conception of the poet's role; Young's attitude to the 'imagination' in the context of contemporary epistemology; eighteenth-century attitudes to death and immortality as expressed in sermons and devotional literature; and the critical reception of the poem in Britain and Europe. This discussion seeks to explain why a poem of Christian consolation, orthodox and ancient in its theology, became a seminal work in a secular cult of sepulchral melancholoy.

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