Traherne was an inconsequential literary figure during his life, whose works were unappreciated until long after his death. He led a humble, devout life, largely sheltered from the literary community. Only one of his works, Roman Forgeries (1673), was published in his lifetime. Christian Ethicks (1675) followed soon after his death, and later A Serious and Patheticall Contemplation of the Mercies of God (1699); but after that much of his finest work was lost, corrupted or misattributed to other writers.
The work for which Traherne is best known today is the Centuries of Meditations, a collection of short paragraphs in which he reflects on Christian life and ministry, philosophy, happiness, desire and childhood. This was first published in 1908 after having been rediscovered in manuscript ten years earlier. His poetry likewise was first published in 1903 and 1910 (The Poetical Works of Thomas Traherne, B.D. and Poems of Felicity). His prose works include Roman Forgeries (1673), Christian Ethics (1675), and A Serious and Patheticall Contemplation of the Mercies of God (1699).
Traherne was an inconsequential literary figure during his lifetime and his works were not known or appreciated until long after his death. As a country priest he led a devout, humble life and did not participate in literary circles. Only one of his works, Roman Forgeries (1673), was published in his lifetime. Christian Ethicks (1675) followed soon after his death, and later A Serious and Patheticall Contemplation of the Mercies of God (1699), which was published as the work of an anonymous author whose character and background were discussed in a brief introduction by the publisher.
Traherne was, by all accounts, a devout and bookish man who had a pleasant disposition and led a simple lifestyle. The largest category of his possessions was books. He was a minor figure and a relatively obscure man during his lifetime. Only one of his books, Roman Forgeries (1673), was in print before he died. Christian Ethics (1675) appeared posthumously. A Serious and Patheticall Contemplation of the Mercies of God (1699) listed the author as anonymous.
Traherne was the son of a shoemaker at Hereford where (or at Ledbury) he was probably born. Very few facts concerning him have been preserved, and indeed his very existence had been forgotten until some of his MS were discovered on a bookstall in 1896, without, however, anything to identify the author. Their discoverer, Mr. W.T. Brooke, was inclined to attribute them to Henry Vaughan, in which he was supported by A.B.Grosart, and the latter was about to bring out a new edition of Vaughan's poems in which they were to be included. This was, however, prevented by his death. The credit of identification is due to Bertram Dobell, who had become the possessor of another volume of MS, and who rejecting, after due consideration, the claims of Vaughan, followed up the very slender clues available until he had established the authorship of Traherne. All the facts that his diligent investigations were successful in collecting were that Traherne was entered as a commoner at Oxford in 1652, earned a B.A., left the university for a time, entered into the sacred function, and in 1661 was actually created M.A. About that time he became rector of Crednell, near Hereford, and in 1669 Bachelor of Divinity; and that after remaining at Crednell for over 9 years he was appointed private chaplain to the Lord Keeper, Sir Orlando Bridgeman, who on his retirement from office retained him as a member of his household at Teddington until his death in 1674, Traherene himself dying 3 months later. Traherne also appears to have been incumbent of Teddington, or perhaps more probably, curate to a pluralist incumbent. The complete oblivion into which Traherne had fallen is the more remarkable when the quality of his poetry, which places him on a level with Herbert, Vaughan, and Crashaw, is considered; and that he appears in his own day to have had some reputation as a scholar and controversialist. His Roman Forgeries (1673) achieved some note. His next work, Christian Ethics, which was not published until after his death, appears to have fallen dead, and is extremely rare: it is described by Dobell as "full of eloquence, persuasiveness, sagacity, and piety." Centuries of Meditations consists of short reflections on religious and moral subjects, etc. The Poems constitute his main claim to remembrance and, as already stated, are of a high order. With occasional roughness of meter they display powerful imagination, a deep and rich vein of original thought, and true poetic force and fire. It has been pointed out that in some of them the author anticipates the essential doctrines of the Berkeleian philosophy, and in them is also revealed a personality of rare purity and fascination.
His prose works are Roman Forgeries (1673), Christian Ethics (1675), and A Serious and Patheticall Contemplation of the Mercies of God (1699). Only the 1st was published in his lifetime.
His poems have a curious history. They were left in manuscript and presumably passed with the rest of his library into the hands of his brother Philip. They then became apparently the possession of the Skipps of Ledbury, Herefordshire. When the property of this family was dispersed in 1888 the value of the manuscripts was unrecognized, for in 1896 or 1897 they were discovered by W.T. Brooke on a street bookstall. Grosart bought them, and proposed to include them in his edition of the works of Henry Vaughan, to whom he was disposed to assign them. He left this task uncompleted, and Bertram Dobell, who eventually secured the MSS, was able to establish the authorship of Thomas Traherne.
London: Macmillan, 1941. First edition. NCBEL IV, 770. One of the great historical and cultural accounts of Eastern Europe prior the Second World War, by author, journalist, literary critic, and travel writer, Cicily Isabel Andrews (1892-1983), who famously wrote under the pseudonym Rebecca West. She was realistic about what was.....
[London:] Printed for Private Circulation Only, 1883-85. First collected edition, one of 50 copies only. NCBEL I, 1457. The first comprehensive collection of the works of Thomas Nashe (bap.1567- c1601), the colorful playwright, poet, satirist, novelist and pamphleter, who was at the center of the Elizabethan literary scene and many.....
It seems doubtful whether the 'Christus Triumphans, Comoedia Apocalyptica' by John Foxe the martyrologist, which appeared in 1672, was published by him. His great-grandson, the Rev. Thomas Comber, published 'Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Thomas Comber, D.D., sometime Dean of Durham, in which is introduced a candid view of the scope and execution of the several works of Dr. Comber, as well printed and MS.; also a fair account of his literary correspondence,' London, 1799, 8vo (with portrait).
The Poetry Project offers various low-cost, sliding-scale, and no-fee workshops and reading groups where we attempt to expand participation in cultural production and discussion, and challenge conventional power vectors around who is or can be a student, teacher, scholar to foster a learning model that is counter-hierarchical and more circularly discursive. Teachers, experienced writers, and new writers work collectively with a shared dedication to creating exciting poetry and exploring a wide range of literary genres, styles, and traditions.
For anyone who wants to experience directly the uncharted regions of inner and outer space in which language, perception, thought, and image play freely with our cramped expectations of them, the Madeline Gins Reader is an indispensable guide and a startling discovery. Her explorations of the interstices between words as symbols, as images, as sounds, as drawings are sure, steady, and entirely original. There are pleasant surprises on every page, in which narratives open up to encompass your experience as reader; fold over on one another to include and picture her activity as author; break open to scatter into lists, logical formulae, diagrams; reconfigure our grasp of what a page is for and what it can do. It is a dizzying and deeply exhilarating ride. Madeline Gins was a pioneer of language, poetry, and Conceptual art. It seems incredible that her work received so little attention during her lifetime. This volume performs an invaluable service in recalling her to our attention. 2b1af7f3a8