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Baptized July 3, 1683, in Upham, near Winchester; died Apr. 5, 1765, in Welwyn, Hertfordshire. British poet.
Young studied law at Oxford University. An adherent of classicism in his early works, he exposed the exhaustion of its principles in his prose essay Conjectures on Original Composition (1759). Young won literary fame with the religious didactic narrative poem The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (parts 1–9, 1742–45). Written in blank verse, Night Thoughts contained sorrowful meditations on the cares and transitoriness of life and on the vanity and futility of human strivings. A classic example of sentimentalist literature, it gave rise to the graveyard school of poetry.
WORKSThe Complete Works, vols. 1–2. London, 1854.
In Russian translation:
Plach, parts 1–2, 3rd ed. [Translated by A. M. Kutuzov.] St. Petersburg, 1812.
Mysli ob original’nom sochinenii. St. Petersburg, 1812.
REFERENCESLevin, Iu. D. “Angliiskaia poeziia i literatura russkogo sentimentalizma.” In the collection Ot klassitsizma k romantizmu. Leningrad, 1970.
Cordasco, F. Edward Young: A Handlist of Critical Notices and Studies. New York, 1950.