The Varied God: A Critical Study of Thomson's the Seasons

The Varied God: A Critical Study of Thomson's the Seasons

The Varied God: A Critical Study of Thomson's the Seasons

The Varied God: A Critical Study of Thomson's the Seasons

Excerpt

The primary text for this study was Thomson's Seasons, Critical Edition, edited by Otto Zippel (Palaestra, Bd. LXVI, Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1908). The quotations from The Seasons, throughout, are from Dr. Zippel's text, and his line numbers have been followed. I have also used his terminology in referring to the various eighteenth-century editions of The Seasons. Thus, each version of the individual parts of the poem is given a different letter of the alphabet; for example, the first version of Winter, published in March, 1726, is Winter A; the expanded text of June, 1726, is Winter B, and so on. J. Logie Robertson 's critical edition of The Complete Poetical Works of James Thomson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1908) is more readily accessible, but far more difficult to use for comparative purposes.

I wish here to record my great indebtedness to Professor Bertrand H. Bronson, who has been the guide, philosopher, and friend of this book. My thanks are also due Professor Ian P. Watt for many valuable suggestions, and Professor Alan D. McKillop, who graciously granted me the benefit of his knowledge of Thomson in reading the manuscript. I wish to express my appreciation to the members of the Board of Editors for English Studies for their invaluable criticism of this study, and to Miss Helen Travis, an indefatigably devoted editor. My husband has provided acute commentary even at the risk of marital discord; to him, my gratitude is boundless. Finally, I must note a general indebtedness to the University of California, Berkeley, where the largest part of the work for this analysis of The Seasons was done in connection with my doctoral dissertation, "Man and Nature in The Seasons."

P. M. S.

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