"The Four Ages of Poetry," by Thomas Love Peacock I am becoming fond of Thomas Love Peacock. Besides his unbeatable name, he was a lot of fun. Peacock was a minor literary figure of the early 19th century; he tried his hand at poetry but mainly succeeded in satire. I read his short novel Nightmare Abbey last year, but at the time I didn't know that the young hero of the story, Scythrop, was modeled on Peacock's good friend Percy Shelley. He and Shelley were quite close and Peacock was the executor of Shelley's will. Thomas Love Peacock Percy Bysshe Shelley "The Four Ages of Poetry," a tongue-in-cheek essay on the history and development of poetry, was published in 1820 in a new magazine called Literary Miscellany , which promptly died. It would probably have been completely obscure and unknown--it nearly is anyway--but for Shelley. Peacock sent a copy to his friend, who I guess didn't really have much of a sense of
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