Kristen Childs and Sarah Allen

Annotated Bibliography

Ella, George Melvyn. William Cowper: Poet of Paradise. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 1993.

Ella argues from an evangelical Christian perspective that Cowper was not only a successful poet in his day, but also one of the most powerful promoters of the Gospel in the English-speaking world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 584 pages.

Feingold, Richard. Nature and Society: Later Eighteenth Century Uses of the Pastoral and Georgic. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1978.

Free, William N. William Cowper. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1970.

In this 194 page book, Free focuses on how the experiences of Cowper’s life affected the formal aspects of his poetry such as structure, tone, and theme. He organizes his chapter according to types of Cowper’s poetry, such as hymns, etc.

King, James and Charles Ryskamp, ed. William Cowper: Selected Letters. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989.

These letters are arranged in chronological order and are meant to display Cowper’s view of ordinary life.

Piper, John. The Hidden Smile of God. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001.

One third of this book is dedicated to a sympathetic retelling of Cowper’s life and his struggles with insanity and depression, and how that affected Cowper’s relationship to God.

Spiller, Brian, ed. Cowper: Verse and Letters. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968.

The letters are arranged according to recipient and the verses are arranged according to type or category. The editor wished to piece together a workable volume of Cowper’s letters and verses representative of his entire portfolio. He includes introductions to each section.

Thomas, Gilbert. William Cowper and the Eighteenth Century. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1948.

Thomas, though a great admirer of Cowper, examines critically the effect that John Newton’s friendship and Evangelical Calvinism had upon Cowper’s life, claiming that Cowper could not escape the limitations of the eighteenth century, including the inability to reconcile “the claims of both God and man.” 335 pages.

Quinlan, Maurice J. William Cowper: A Critical Life. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 1953.

This is a 234 page chronological account of William Cowper’s life that aims to relate Cowper to his works and his works to the events of his life.

Wright, Thomas, ed. Correspondence of William Cowper. New York: Haskell House Publishers, Ltd., 1969.

This four volume set that arranges the letters both chronologically and geographically. It includes maps. This is the most exhaustive set of Cowper’s correspondence and includes both annotations and editorial introductions by the editor.