Stephen Duck, the Thresher-Poet

Stephen Duck, the Thresher-Poet

Stephen Duck, the Thresher-Poet

Stephen Duck, the Thresher-Poet

Excerpt

The plan of the present study was developed from a suggestion several years age of Professor J. W. Draper that the proletarian and peasant writers of the eighteenth century had not received comprehensive treatment, that their lives were but hazily sketched, their personalities dim, and their verses unstudied, especially as an expression of their social class. An investigation of this group might shed light on the primitivistic theories of the period, on the Romantic contention that literature is the outgrowth of the folk, and especially on Professor Tinker's recent hypothesis in Nature's Simple Plan that they culminated in no less a person than Robert Burns. It soon became evident, however, that such a subject was too broad for a master's thesis; and the scope was therefore limited to the life and works of Stephen Duck, Queen Caroline's thresher-poet, perhaps the most interesting member of the group. On this narrower basis, the work was brought to completion under the supervision of Professor Draper, and in June 1926, accepted by the University of Maine in partial fulfillment of the master's degree.

A full investigation, even within this compass, has required considerable consultation of books and official records; the Library of the University of Maine, the Bangor Public Library, and the Boston Public Library have given valuable assistance; but most of the research has been carried on in the Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University. To the officials and custodians of these libraries, thanks are due, and to the following persons in England for prompt and courteous replies, some of them containing information of much value: to Miss M. Swedling of the Central Library, Reading; to A. Hill Esq., Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; to the Rev. H. V. Johnson, Rector of Byfleet, Surrey; to A. C. Piper, Esq., Borough Librarian of Richmond; to H. Broadhurst, Esq., Librarian of Eton College; to J. S. Childers, Esq., of Worcester College, Oxford; and to the Rev. H. B. M. Smith, Vicar of Charlton, Marlborough, Wilts. I wish also to express my obligations to my colleagues, Professor P. H. Turner and Professor W. I. Zeitler for obtaining additional material at the Widener Library, to the editors of the present study for much painstaking, unobtrusive labor, and especially to Professor Draper . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.