Eighteenth Century Prose – Literature | Major English

Eighteenth Century Prose

18th century is the greatest age of English prose. It replaced the strange plots with reasonable things. It describes the social cultural and political things. Satires, exploration and criticism are some other subjects of 18th century prose. Richard Steele and Joseph Addison are great prose writers of the time. They wrote ‘The Tatler’ and ‘The Spectator’. The Tatler is about various subjects along with social criticism. The spectator is a lively prose work. Similarly, Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ is a famous book based on a real event. It is a real story of Alexander Selkrik, a sailor, who quarreled with the captain. Then he was put alone on an island. Jonathan Swift is famous for his satirical works like ‘A Modest Proposal’, his Gulliver’s Travels is the most famous books.

It is in four books and it is popular among young people. Life of Johnson is the autobiography which is written by James Boswell. Edward Gibson’s The Decline of fall of Roman Empire is the greatest historical work in English literature. Edmund Burke’s reflection on the French revolution made him famous in all parts of Europe. Samnel Richardson, Henry Fielding. Oliver Goldsmith etc. were some famous novelists of the time.

Graveyard School of Poets

A group of poets wrote about death during the later half of the 18th century. The main subject of their poetry was death and they are called graveyard school of poets. They are also called churchyard school of poets. Edward Young, his “Nights Thought” was very popular at one time. It subject are life, death, the future world and God. Similarly, Robert Blair’s “The Grave” begs the dead to come back and tells us something about grave. Written in a “Country Churchyard” is one of the best known poems in English language. It describes the fate of the common people who are burled in their graves.

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray is famous because of his elegies. He wrote a few poems and published even fewer but his poems made him popular. His masterpiece “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” written in 1751 is one of the best poems in English language. It is about the common fate of common people. It is about those people who live without their lives and die unnoticed and unremembered. He described his thoughts as he looks at the graves of the country people Beury near the Church at stoke poges. Gray’s first published poem was ‘Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College”, “Hymn to Adversity”, “The Bard” and “The Progress of Poetry” are his famous works.

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