Depicting people struggling against the undertow of the past and against their own frailties, these are works of great generosity and human sympathy.
George Crabbe was born in 1754 in Suffolk. The son of a collector of salt-duties, he spent a period of apprenticeship and unsuccessful practice as an apothecary and surgeon before moving to London to make his way as a writer. Struggling with destitution, he was befriended by Edmund Burke, who helped him first to get his work published and then to embark on a career in the church. His religious career culminated in his appointment as Rector of Trowbridge in Wiltshire, where he died in 1832. Gavin Edwards is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of South Wales. He is the author of George Crabbe's Poetry on Border Land (1990) and Narrative Order 1789-1819: Life and Story in an Age of Revolution (2005).