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A Full Enquiry into the Nature of the Pastoral (17

Produced by S.R.Ellison, David Starner, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

Series Two:

_Essays on Poetry_

No. 4

Thomas Purney, _A Full Enquiry into the True Nature of Pastoral_ (1717)

With an Introduction by Earl Wasserman

The Augustan Reprint Society January, 1948 _Price_: $1.00


RICHARD C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_ EDWARD NILES HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_ H. T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_


W. EARL BRITTON, _University of Michigan_


EMMETT L. AVERY, _State College of Washington_ BENJAMIN BOYCE, _University of Nebraska_ LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, _University of Michigan_ CLEANTH BROOKS, _Yale University_ JAMES L. CLIFFORD, _Columbia University_ ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, _University of Chicago_ SAMUEL H. MONK, _University of Minnesota_ ERNEST MOSSNER, _University of Texas_ JAMES SUTHERLAND, _Queen Mary College, London_

Lithoprinted from copy supplied by author by Edwards Brothers, Inc. Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. 1948


In the preface to each of his volumes of pastorals (_Pastorals. After the simple Manner of Theocritus, 1717_; _Pastorals. viz. The Bashful Swain: and Beauty and Simplicity, 1717_) Thomas Purney rushed into critical discussions with the breathlessness of one impatient to reveal his opinions, and, after touching on a variety of significant topics, cut himself short with the promise of a future extensive treatise on pastoral poetry. In 1933 Mr. H.O. White, unable to discover the treatise, was forced to conclude that it probably had never appeared (_The Works of Thomas Purney_, ed. H.O. White, Oxford, 1933, p. 111), although it had been advertised at the conclusion of Purney's second volume of poetry as shortly to be printed. A copy, probably unique, of _A Full Enquiry into the True Nature of Pastoral_ (1717) was, however, recently purchased by the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library of the University of California, and is here reproduced. Despite the obvious failure of the essay to influence critical theory, it justifies attention because it is the most thorough and specific of the remarkably few studies of the pastoral in an age when many thought it necessary to imitate Virgil's poetic career, and because it is, in many respects, a contribution to the more liberal tendencies within neoclassic criticism. Essentially, the _Full Enquiry_ is a coherent expansion of the random comments collected in the poet's earlier prefaces.

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