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Thomas Gray to Richard West, [March or April 1740]

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Letter ID: letters.0090

Correspondents

Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 23
Addressee: West, Richard, 1716-1742
Addressee's age: 24[?]

Dates

Date of composition: [March or April 1740]
Calendar: Gregorian

Places

Place of composition: [Florence, Italy]

Content

Language: [unknown]
Incipit: [not extant]
Contents: "[From Mason's correspondence with Walpole in July 1773 (Walpole-Mason Correspondence, [The Correspondence of Horace Walpole and the Rev. William Mason, 2 vols., ed. by John Mitford, 1851] vol. i, 87 ff.) we learn that there were two letters of Gray written in Italian, which Mason (after submitting them to Walpole) did not print. The first of these was in reply to a letter of West (Letter 78* [letters.0089]). In Gray's letter there were verses 'Te dea etc', which Mason thought very beautiful, and an allusion to the Venus de Medici, 'which occasioned a very pretty Latin elegy of West's, which he sent him in return' (see Letter 84 [letters.0096]). Walpole was not pleased with Gray's Italian letter and suggested that Mason might mention Gray's having spoken of the Venus to West without producing his letter. Mason followed Walpole's advice, and interpolated in Gray's letter to West of 15 Jan. a reference to the Venus (see Letter 78 [letters.0088], n. 3). Gray's letter was probably written in March or April, as West's reply (see Letter 84) was written in April.]"
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], vol. i, 137-138.
Mentioned: Walpole, Horace

Holding Institution

Availability: The original letter is not extant, no copy, transcription, or published version survives

Print Versions

  • 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. 78**, vol. i, 137-138