This criticism page provides open access to important secondary literature, including selected contemporary and modern criticism as well as teaching and learning resources.
As the growth of this page depends on the co-operation of authors and copyright owners, we would like to encourage them to deposit their research results in freely accessible institutional repositories or on our Archive servers. Please send any contributions or suggestions for additions to the editor.
Contemporary criticism and discussions
- "Critical Observations". The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray. London: J. Sharpe, 1826, vii-xxx.
- Johnson, Samuel: "The Life of Gray" (1781) [e-text], from The Lives of the Poets, ed. G.B. Hill, 3 vols., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905, e-text ed. by Jack Lynch, Rutgers University.
- Mason, William: "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. Gray" (1775). The Poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings, ed. by William Mason. York: printed by A. Ward; and sold by J. Dodsley, London; and J. Todd, York, 1775, 1-404.
- Mathias, Thomas James: Observations on the writings and on the character of Mr. Gray (1815). London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1815.
- Mitford, John: "Essay on the Poetry of Gray". The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 volumes, ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, vol. i, xci-clxxvi.
- Murray, John: A Letter to W. Mason, A.M. precentor of York, concerning his edition of Mr. Gray's Poems. And the Practices of Booksellers (1777). London: J. Murray, 1777. See also John Murray's edition of Poems by Mr. Gray (1776).
- "A Short Account of the Life and Writings of Mr. Gray". Poems by Mr. Gray. London: J. Murray, 1776, v-xviii.
- "Some Account of the Life and Writings of Mr. Thomas Gray". The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray, LL.B., ed. by Stephen Jones. London: C. Whittingham, 1800, xvii-xlix.
- Wordsworth, William: "Preface to Lyrical Ballads" (1802) [e-text], e-text ed. by Michael Gamer, University of Pennsylvania.
- Young, John: A Criticism on the Elegy written in a Country Church Yard. Being a continuation of Dr. J[ohnso]n's Criticism On The Poems Of Gray (1783). London: G. Wilkie, 1783.
Current criticism and discussions
- Cooper, David et al.: "Thomas Gray's 'Journal of his Tour in the Lake District' (1769)", part of Mapping the Lakes: A Literary GIS, Department of English & Creative Writing, Bowland College, Lancaster University [discussion of Gray's Journal of A Visit to the Lake District in 1769]
- Cummings, Michael J.: "Elegy Written In a Country Churchyard." By Thomas Gray (1716-1771), A Study Guide, part of Cummings Study Guides, ed. by Michael J. Cummings [discussion of the "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"]
- Fabbri, Andrea: "«In Sì Periglioso Aringo»: Giovanni Ghinassi Traduce L'Elegy Di Thomas Gray" [PDF]. Thomas Gray Archive, 2012 [discusses Giovanni Ghinassi's translation of the "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"]
- Huber, Alexander: "An Exploratory Tour of Thomas Gray's English poems: a Spyral notebook". Thomas Gray Archive, 2023 <https://www.thomasgray.org/texts/poems/notebooks/ep.shtml>
- Jackson, Wallace: "Thomas Gray (1716-1771)", published by Poetry Foundation, Chicago, Illinois [contains a biography and discussion of the major poems]
- Nordby, Conrad Hjalmar: The Influence of Old Norse Literature on English Literature [e-text]. New York: Columbia University Press, 1901, 6ff. [discussion of "The Fatal Sisters" / "The Descent of Odin" (Norse Odes)]
- Radcliffe, David H.: "Thomas Gray (1716-1771)", in Spenser and the Tradition: English Poetry 1579-1830, ed. by David H. Radcliffe, Virginia Tech [includes annotated poems, contemporary criticism and biographies, reference materials, and criticism by Gray on various subjects]
- Scodel, Joshua: The English Poetic Epitaph: Commemoration and Conflict from Jonson to Wordsworth [e-text excerpts]. Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 1991, 312-331, 352-365 [discussion of the "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"]
- Wikipedia contributors: "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia [discussion of the "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"]
- Wikiversity contributors: "Lectures/Literary criticism/Thomas Gray/Elegy's influence" at Wikiversity [discussion of the "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"]
Syllabi and course materials
- Koster, Josephine: Thomas Gray (1716-1771), part of Major British Writers Before 1800 (English 201) at the Department of English, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, USA
- Liu, Kate Chiwen: "Ode On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drowned In A Tub Of Goldfishes" - Leading Questions, part of a Introduction to Literature course at the Department of English Language and Literature, Fu Jen Catholic University, Hsinchuang, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan, Republic of China
- Lynch, Jack: English Pre-Romantics (English 317) at the Department of English, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA