Joseph Warton, a pioneer in romanticism; a biographical and critical study

Sadler, Vergilia Pendleton, Department of English, University of Virginia
Shepperson, A.B., Department of English, University of Virginia

The purpose of the following study is to form an estimate of the intrinsic and historical importance of Joseph Warton. With this end in view, I have examined all available works of this author, both in poetry and in criticism, and have given here some discussion of the more important and significant ones. Joseph Warton has not received recognition commensurate with his contribution. He was more than just a mediocre poet and capable critic; he was an important factor in the literary reaction of the eighteenth century. Thomas Warton, the Oxford professor and poet laureate, has received more public notice than has Dr. Warton. But while Thomas Warton did make a more bulky contribution to English letters, it is doubtful whether his work was any more potent force in furthering the Romantic movement than was that of Joseph. In the effort to evaluate the work of Dr. Warton, a rather large proportion of space has been given to the contribution of his father and of his brother, since the literary life of both of these was indissolubly connected with his own. A chapter has also been devoted to a general discussion of the Warton's, an interesting family, and one whose annals, scanty enough at best, are not widely known. This study is not at all an exhaustive one, but it has included an examination of all material available within the allotted time and space. Certainly all of the more important of Warton's literary and critical works have been carefully investigated, while the biographical material used includes probably all available in this country .

MS (Master of Science)
Warton, Joseph, 1722-1800
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