The City of Dreadful Night

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Illustration of 19th century London slums by Gustave Doré

The City of Dreadful Night is a long poem by the Scottish poet James "B.V." Thomson, written between 1870 and 1873, and published in the National Reformer in 1874,[1] then, in 1880, in a book entitled The City of Dreadful Night and Other Poems.[2] The poem is noted for the pessimistic philosophy that it expresses.[3] It has been argued that the city, described in the poem, was based on London.[4]

Reception[edit]

The poem, despite its insistently bleak tone, won the praise of George Meredith, and also of George Saintsbury, who in A History of Nineteenth Century Literature wrote that "what saves Thomson is the perfection with which he expresses the negative and hopeless side of the sense of mystery ..."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sullivan, Dick. ""Poison Mixed With Gall": James Thomson's The City of Dreadful Night — A Personal View". Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  2. ^ Thomson, James (1880). The City of Dreadful Night and Other Poems. London: Reeves and Turner.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  3. ^ Salt, Henry S. (August 1896). "Among the Authors: The Poet of Pessimism". The Vegetarian Review: 360–362.
  4. ^ Cheng, Chu-chueh. "The Importance of Being London: Looking for Signs of the Metropolis in James Thomson's City of Dreadful Night". Literary London Society. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  5. ^ Saintsbury, George (1906). A History of Nineteenth Century Literature (1780-1895). London: The Macmillan Company. p. 298.

External links[edit]