The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution.

IV. William Cowper



The following Additional MSS. contain interesting Cowper data: 21154, 21556, letters; 24154, 24155, poems 1770–1793 and letters; 29716, chronological list of Cowper’s letters, 1758–1799; 30801, variations from the 1st edn. of the trans. of the Iliad, trans. of Milton’s poems, and Epigrams; 30803 A and B, poems 1797–1803; 30805, 31998, letters; 32348, views of Cowper’s birthplace; 32350, portrait; 32573, Recollections of Cowper by Mitford, J.; 33964, 37059, letters; 37095, minor poems, unfinished letter of Cowper in the form of a general diary of his health, Tues. 13 Nov.-Sat. 17 Nov. [1792] and other letters.


Works. Ed. Newton, J. 10 vols. 1817.

Miscellaneous Works. With a life and notes by Memes, J.S. 3 vols. Edinburgh, 1834.

Works: his Life and Letters by Hayley, W., now first completed by the introduction of Cowper’s private Correspondence; ed. Grimshawe, T.S. (With an Essay on the Genius and Poetry of Cowper by Cunningham, J.W.) 8 vols. 1835. 2nd edn. 1836.

Works, comprising his Poems, Correspondence, and Translations. With a life of the author by the editor, Robert Southey. 15 vols. 1836–7.

Works, comprising his Poems, Correspondence, and Translations. With a life of the author, by the editor, Robert Southey. 8 vols. (Bohn’s Standard Library.) 1853–5.

A. Collections

Poems. 2 vols. 1782–5 and 1782–6. [Some copies of vol. I contain the uncorrected lines in The Progress of Error:
  • With memorandum-book to minute down
  • The sev’ral posts, and where the chaise broke down;
  • and the original passage of Expostulation, beginning: Hast thou admitted with a blind, fond trust.]

    Some copies of the 1st edn. contain the preface by Newton, J.; 2nd edn., 2 vols., 1786; 3rd, 1787; 4th, 1788; 5th, with preface by Newton, J., 1793; 6th 1794–5. Other edns.: 1798 (two), 1800, 1803, 1805.

    Poems.… With a life of the Author and observations on his writings. [1800?]

    Poems [with preface by Newton, J.] A new edn. to which are now first added Olney Hymns by W.C. and translations from Madame Guion. 1806. Also 3 vols. 1806. 2 vols. 1808. A new edn. 2 vols. 1808.

    Poems.… In two volumes. (Vol. III containing his posthumous Poetry and a sketch of his life, by Johnson, J.) 3 vols. 1815. New edn., with preface by Newton, J. 3 vols. 1817.

    Poems, the early productions of W. Cowper, now first published. With anecdotes of the Poet collected from letters of Lady Hesketh. Ed. Croft, J. 1825.

    Poetical Works. Ed. Cary, H.F., with a biographical notice of the author. 1839. A new edn. with preface by Grimshawe, T.S. 1845.

    Poetical Works. With life, critical dissertation, and explanatory notes, by Gilfillan, G. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1854.

    Poetical Works. Ed. Bell, R. 3 vols. 1854.

    Poetical Works. With notes and memoir by Bruce, J. (Aldine edn. of the British Poets.) 3 vols. 1865.

    Poetical Works. Ed., with notes and biographical introduction, Benham, W. (Globe edn.) 1870.

    Cowper’s Shorter Poems. Ed., with introduction and notes, Webb, W.T. 1896.

    Unpublished and Uncollected Poems. Ed. Wright, T. (Cameo Series.) 1900.

    Poems. Ed., with an introduction and notes, Bailey, J.C. 1905.

    Complete Poetical Works. Ed. Milford, H.S. 1905.

    B. Separate Poems

    Anti-Thelyphthora; a tale, in verse. 1781.

    Olney Hymns. [By Newton, J. and Cowper, W.] 1779. 1781. Other edns.: 1783, 1787, 1795, 1797 (two), 1806, 1810, 1812, 1820, 1821, 1829.

    Hymns on various subjects, now first collected together. 1822.

    The Journey of John Gilpin [a ballad by W.C.]. [1783.] Rptd. [1810?]. (Both in chapbook form.)

    Gilpin’s Rig; or the Wedding Day Kept, a Droll Story; Read by Mr. Henderson, at Free-masons Hall and Mr. Baddeley, at Drury Lane Theatre. Containing An Account of John Gilpin, the Bold Linen Draper of Cheapside; how he went farther and faster than he intended, and came Home safe at last. London: Printed for S.W. Fores, (No. 3,) Piccadilly. And F. Clarkson, (No. 73,) St. Paul’s-Church-Yard. Price Two Pence. Entered at Humourist’s-Hall. [1783?]

    The Diverting History of John Gilpin.… With six illustrations by Cruikshank, G. 1828.

    The Task, to which are added the Epistle to Joseph Hill, Tirocinium, and John Gilpin. (Described on the flyleaf as a second vol. of poems by W.C.) 1785. 2nd edn. 1786. Also 1787, 1788, 1793, 1794, 1798 (two) and 1800. The Task. 2 vols. 1825.

    Poems (I. On his Mother’s Picture. II. On the Dog and Waterlily). 1798.

    Table Talk, and other Poems. 2 vols. 1817.


    Adelphi. A sketch of the character, and an account of the last illness of the late … John Cowper. Written by … W.C. Faithfully transcribed from his original manuscript by Newton, J. 1802.

    Cowper’s edition of Milton, 4 vols., ed. Hayley, W., was published 1810. He contributed a few papers to The Connoisseur in 1754, and St. James’s Chronicle 1761; a paper on his Hares, and a letter signed “Alethea,” on Pope’s Homer, to The Gentleman’s Magazine in June, 1784, and August, 1785 respectively; and a review of Glover’s Athenaid to The Analytical Review, February, 1789. John Gilpin first appeared in The Public Advertiser, at the end of 1782.


    Life and posthumous writings (chiefly Letters) with an introductory letter to … Earl Cowper. By Hayley, W. 3 vols. Chichester, 1803–4. (A supplement to this edn., entitled Supplementary Pages to the Life of Cowper, was issued in 1806.)

    Life and Letters, with remarks on epistolary writers by Hayley, W. A new edn. 4 vols. Chichester, 1809. 3 vols. 1824.

    Letters. A new edn. revised by … Johnson, J. 3 vols. 1817. 1820.

    Private Correspondence with several of his most intimate friends now first published from the originals in the possession of [and ed. by] Johnson, J. 2 vols. 1824. 3rd edn. 2 vols. 1837.

    Life, with Selections from his Correspondence. [By Seeley, R.B.] 1855.

    Letters, being a selection from his correspondence: with a sketch of his life, and biographical notices of his correspondents. [1862.]

    Letters. Ed., with introduction, Benham, W. 1884.

    Selections from Cowper’s Letters. Ed., with introduction and notes, Webb, W. T. 1895.

    Correspondence of W.C. Arranged in chronological order, with annotations by Wright, T. 4 vols. 1904.

    Selections from Cowper’s Letters. Ed. Lucas, E.V. With notes by Milford, M.L. 1911.

    Letters by W.C., chosen and edited, with a Memoir and a few notes, Frazer, J.G. 2 vols. 1912.


    The Works of Horace, in English verse, by Mr. Duncombe … and other hands. 4 vols. 1767. (Cowper’s two contributions are in vol. III, pp. 37, 89.)

    The Iliad and Odyssey … translated … by W. C. 1791. 2nd edn., ed Johnson, J. 1802. Other edns. 1809, 1810, 1847.

    Cowper’s English version of the Odyssey … with a Commentary … by O. 1843.

    The Iliad of Homer, translated into English blank verse by W. C. etc. 1855.

    The Power of Grace illustrated: in letters from a minister of the reformed church (Van Lier) to John Newton, translated by … Cowper. 1792.

    Poems translated from the French of Madame de La Mothe Guion. To which are added some original poems, etc. 1801. Also 1802, 1803, 1811.

    Latin and Italian Poems of Milton, translated by W. C. 1808.

    Adam: a sacred drama, translated from the Italian of G. B. Andreini [by W. C. etc.]. Latin and Italian poems by Milton translated … by W. C. Cowper’s edn. of Milton’s Works. Vol. III. 1810.

    Milton’s Earlier Poems, including the translations by W. C. of those written in Latin and Italian. (Cassell’s National Library, new series, vol. LXX.) 1905.


    See, also, the various introductions to Cowper’s Works mentioned in sections II, III, V, ante, and bibliography of William Hayley in chap. VIII, post.

    Ainger, A. Cowper. Lectures and Essays. Vol. I. 1905.

    Boucher, S. W. Cowper, sa correspondance et ses poésies. 1874.

    Brooke, S. A. Theology in the English Poets. Cowper. 1874. 10th edn. 1907.

    Bull, Josiah. John Newton … an autobiography and narrative (compiled by Bull, J.). [1868.]

    Cavit, T. E. A Plea for Cowper. Gentleman’s Mag. Vol. CCXCVI. June, 1904.

    Cheever, G. B. Lectures on the life, genius, and insanity of Cowper. 1856.

    Cowper, W. Memoir of the early life of W. C. written by himself; with an Appendix, containing some of Cowper’s religious Letters, and other documents. 1816. 2nd edn. 1816. 3rd edn. 1817. 4th edn. 1818.

    —— Memoir of … the life of W. C.… detailing particularly the exercises of his mind in regard to religion. Written by himself.… To which are appended an original … poem and a fragment. 1816.

    —— Narrative of the life of W. C.… Written by himself. A new edn. illustrated by extracts from The Christian Observer, and from Cowper’s religious correspondence. Birmingham, 1817.

    —— The Autobiography of Cowper, or an account of the most interesting part of his life. Written by himself. To which are added some poems copied from MS. 1835.

    Cowper, illustrated by a series of views in, or near, the park of Weston Underwood, Bucks; accompanied with descriptions, and a sketch of the Poet’s life. 1803.

    Dewar, G. A. B. Cowper the Castaway. Saturday Review. Vol. XCIX, p. 12. 1905.

    Dowden, E. Cowper and William Hayley. Atlantic Monthly, July, 1907.

    Elwin, W. Cowper. Quarterly Review, Jan., 1860. Rptd. in Some XVIII century Men of Letters. Vol. I. 1902.

    Gearey, Caroline. Cowper and Mary Unwin. A centenary memento. [1901.]

    Gill, J. Cowper the Poet. Recollections of a visit at Olney. 1890.

    Greatheed, S. Memoir of W. Cowper Revised … by … S. Greatheed. 1814.

    Hartmann, H. Über W. Cowper’s Tirocinium. 1896.

    Hesketh, Harriet. Letters of Lady Hesketh to the Rev. John Johnson, LL.D., concerning his kinsman William Cowper the Poet. 1901.

    Hoffmann, C.W. William Cowper’s Belesenheit und literarische Kritik. 1908.

    Neve, J. A Concordance to the poetical works of W. Cowper. 1887.

    Newton, J. The Newton-Cowper Centenary, 1907. [1907.]

    Oliphant, Mrs. The literary history of England in the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. 3 vols. 1882.

    Olney and its associations; or, Reminiscences of the poet Cowper. 1880.

    Pollock, J. M. The life, genius, and poetry of W. Cowper. 1860.

    Sainte-Beuve, C. A. William Cowper, ou de la Poésie domestique. Causeries du Lundi. Tome XI, pp. 132–165. 1856.

    Storer, J. S. The Rural Walks of Cowper; displayed in a series of views near Olney, Bucks; representing the scenery exemplified in his poems; with descriptive sketches, and a memoir of the poet’s life. [1825?]

    Symington, J. A. The Poet of Home Life. Centenary memories of W. C. [1900.]

    Taylor, T. The life of W. Cowper, Esq. compiled from his correspondence. 1833.

    Thompson, S. Cowper as a Letter Writer. Academy, Vol. LXVI. 16 April, 1904.

    Tomlinson, J. Three Household Poets; viz. Milton, Cowper, Burns. 1869.

    Wright, T. The Town of Cowper, or the literary and historical associations of Olney, etc. 1886.

    —— The Loved Haunts of Cowper, being an outline of the life of W. C. with special reference to his favourite resorts in Olney and Weston Underwood etc. 1894.

    G. A. B.