City of Dreadful Night, and Other Poems, The
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| By Thomson, James. With an Introduction by Ian Campbell|
| ISBN 1904999727|
| Paperback 240 pages|
| Subject [Fiction
| Published 6 June 2008|
| UK Price £12.95 Order from amazon.co.uk|
| US Price $24.95 Order from amazon.com|
This unique collection brings back into print some of the lesser known poems of James ('B.V'.) Thomson (1834-82) as well as his acclaimed The City of Dreadful Night. Composed in the later half of the nineteenth-century, many of Thomson's post-Christian poems challenge the securities of Victorian religious comfort and sceptically view the human condition as devoid of connection with any providential sustenance. First published in instalments in 1874 and then in book form in 1880, The City of Dreadful Night is recognised as a powerful precursor to the modernist imaging of the bleak sterility of the city. Providing some balance to the poems of melancholy darkness are those illustrative of Thomson's short-lived experience of love; his rare cheerful awareness of the beauty of the natural world; his playful imaging of polite suburban society; his portrayal of renowned literary figures and his extensive knowledge of classical literature. The City of Dreadful Night and Other Poems will therefore serve to provide the reader with a wider spectrum of the works of this important Scottish poet.
Ian Campbell is Professor of Scottish and Victorian Literature at the University of Edinburgh, where he has been since 1964. His Kailyard was published in 1981, and a re-issue of J.M. Barrie's A Window in Thrums in 2005. He has wide interests in Scottish fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is one of the editors of the Duke-Edinburgh edition of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle.
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