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9780140424300

Complete Writings

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780140424300

  • ISBN10:

    014042430X

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2001-02-01
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics

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Summary

In 1761, a young girl arrived in Boston on a slave ship, sold to the Wheatley family, and given the name Phillis Wheatley. Struck by Phillis' extraordinary precociousness, the Wheatleys provided her with an education that was unusual for a woman of the time and astonishing for a slave. After studying English and classical literature, geography, the Bible, and Latin, Phillis published her first poem in 1767 at the age of 14, winning much public attention and considerable fame. When Boston publishers who doubted its authenticity rejected an initial collection of her poetry, Wheatley sailed to London in 1773 and found a publisher there for Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. This volume collects both Wheatley's letters and her poetry: hymns, elegies, translations, philosophical poems, tales, and epyllions--including a poignant plea to the Earl of Dartmouth urging freedom for America and comparing the country's condition to her own. With her contemplative elegies and her use of the poetic imagination to escape an unsatisfactory world, Wheatley anticipated the Romantic Movement of the following century. The appendices to this edition include poems of Wheatley's contemporary African-American poets: Lucy Terry, Jupiter Harmon, and Francis Williams.

Author Biography

Phillis Wheatley(1753?-1784) was born in western Africa, most likely in present-day Gambia or Ghana. Having failed to find an American publisher for a second volume of her works, Wheatley died in Boston largely forgotten and impoverished.

Vincent Carretta is professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the editor of the Penguin Classics editions of the Complete Writings of Phillis Wheatley, Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African, and Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery and Other Writings by Ottobah Cugoano.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
Vincent Carretta
Suggestions for Further Reading xxxix
A Note on Money xliii
Acknowledgments xlv
Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
Dedication
3(2)
Preface
5(2)
Copy of a Letter sent by the Author's Master to the Publisher
7(1)
To the Publick
8(1)
To Maecenas
9(2)
On Virtue
11(1)
To the University of Cambridge, in New-England
11(1)
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 1768
12(1)
On being brought from Africa to America
13(1)
On the Death of the Rev. Dr. Sewell. 1769
13(2)
On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770
15(1)
On the Death of a young Lady of Five Years of Age
16(1)
On the Death of a young Gentleman
17(1)
To a Lady on the Death of her Husband
18(1)
Goliath of Gath
19(7)
Thoughts on the Works of Providence
26(3)
To a Lady on the Death of Three Relations
29(1)
To a Clergyman on the Death of his Lady
30(2)
An Hymn to the Morning
32(1)
An Hymn to the Evening
32(1)
Isaiah lxiii. 1-8
33(1)
On Recollection
34(2)
On Imagination
36(1)
A Funeral Poem on the Death of C. E. an Infant of Twelve Months
37(2)
To Captain H---D, of the 65th Regiment
39(1)
To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for North-America, &c
39(2)
ODE to Neptune. On Mrs. W---'s Voyage to England
41(1)
To a Lady on her coming to North-America with her Son, for the Recovery of her Health
41(2)
To a Lady on her remarkable Preservation in an Hurricane in North-Carolina
43(1)
To a Lady and her Children, on the Death of her Son and their Brother
44(1)
To a Gentleman and Lady on the Death of the Lady's Brother and Sister, and a Child of the Name Avis, aged one Year
45(1)
On the Death of Dr. Samuel Marshall. 1771
46(1)
To a Gentleman on his Voyage to Great-Britain for the Recovery of his Health
47(1)
To the Rev. Dr. Thomas Amory on reading his Sermons on Daily Devotion, in which that Duty is recommended and assisted
48(1)
On the Death of J. C. an Infant
49(1)
An Hymn to Humanity. To S. P. G. Esq
50(2)
To the Honourable T. H. Esq; on the Death of his Daughter
52(1)
NIOBE in Distress for her children slain by Apollo, from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book VI. and from a view of the Painting of Mr. Richard Wilson
53(6)
To S. M. a young African Painter, on seeing his Works
59(1)
To His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, on the Death of his Lady. March 24, 1773
60(2)
A Farewel to America. To Mrs. S. W
62(2)
A Rebus, by I. B
64(1)
An Answer to the Rebus, by the Author of these Poems
65(2)
Extant Poems Not Published in Poems on Various Subjects
Atheism
67(2)
An Address to the Atheist
69(1)
Deism
70(2)
An Address to the Deist---1767---
72(1)
On Messrs Hussey and Coffin
73(2)
America
75(1)
To the Hon.ble Commodore Hood on his Pardoning a Deserter
76(1)
On Friendship
77(1)
On the Death of Mr. Snider Murder'd
77(1)
Richardson
Ocean
78(2)
An Elegy, To Miss. Mary Moorhead, on the Death of her Father, The Rev. Mr. John Moorhead
80(3)
[To a Gentleman of the Navy.]
83(1)
The Answer [By the Gentleman of the Navy.]
84(2)
Philis's [sic] Reply to the Answer in our last by the Gentleman in the Navy
86(2)
To His Excellency General Washington
88(2)
On the Capture of General Lee
90(2)
On the Death of General Wooster
92(2)
To Mr. and Mrs.---, on the Death of their Infant Son
94(2)
Prayer
96(1)
An Elegy Sacred to the Memory of the Rev'd Samuel Cooper, D.D
97(2)
An Elegy, Sacred to the Memory of That Great Divine, the Reverend and Learned Dr. Samuel Cooper
99(2)
Liberty and Peace, a Poem
101(1)
An Elegy on Leaving---
102(3)
Variants of Poems Published in Poems on Various Subjects
To the University of Cambridge, wrote in 1767---
105(1)
To The King's Most Excellent Majesty on his Repealing the American Stamp Act
106(1)
On the Decease of the Revd Doctr Sewall [variant 1]
107(2)
On the Decease of the rev'd Dr. Sewell [variant 2]
109(2)
On the Death of the Rev'd Dr. Sewall, 1769. [variant 3]
111(2)
An Elegiac Poem, On the Death of that celebrated Divine, and eminent Servant of Jesus Christ, the late Reverend, and pious George Whitefield, Chaplain to the Right Honourable the Countess of Huntingdon, &c &c. [variant 1]
113(2)
An Ode of Verses On the much-lamented Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield, Late Chaplain to the Countess of Huntingdon [variant 2]
115(2)
To Mrs. Leonard, on the Death of her Husband
117(1)
On the Death of Dr. Samuel Marshall [variant 1]
118(1)
On the Death of Doctor Samuel Marshall. [variant 2]
119(1)
Recollection
120(1)
Recollection. To Miss A---M---
121(2)
To the Rev. Mr. Pitkin, on the Death of his Lady
123(2)
A Poem on the Death of Charles Eliot, Aged 12 Months [variant 1]
125(1)
A Poem the death of Charles Eliot aged 12 months. [variant 2]
126(2)
To the Right Honl. William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth [variant 1]
128(2)
To the Right Honl William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth [variant 2]
130(1)
To the Hon'ble Thomas Hubbard, Esq; On the Death of Mrs. Thankfull Leonard
131(2)
To the Empire of America, Beneath the Western Hemisphere. Farewell to America. To Mrs. S. W. [variant 1]
133(2)
Farewell to America [variant 2]
135(4)
Letters
To the Countess of Huntingdon (October 25, 1770)
139(1)
To Abigail May? (November or December 1771)
140(1)
To John Thornton (April 21, 1772)
140(1)
To Arbour Tanner (May 19, 1772)
141(1)
To Arbour Tanner (July 19, 1772)
142(1)
To the Earl of Dartmouth (October 10, 1772)
143(1)
To the Countess of Huntingdon (June 27, 1773)
144(1)
To the Countess of Huntingdon (July 17, 1773)
145(1)
To David Worcester (October 18, 1773)
146(2)
To Obour Tanner (October 30, 1773)
148(1)
To John Thornton (December 1, 1773)
149(2)
To the Reverend Samuel Hopkins (February 9, 1774)
151(1)
To Samson Occom (February 11, 1774)
152(1)
To Obur Tanner (March 21, 1774)
153(1)
To John Thornton (March 29, 1774)
154(2)
To Obour Tanner (May 6, 1774)
156(1)
To the Reverend Samuel Hopkins (May 6, 1774)
157(1)
To John Thornton (October 30, 1774)
158(2)
To George Washington (October 26, 1775)
160(1)
To Obour Tanner (May 29, 1778)
161(1)
To Mary Wooster (July 15, 1778)
161(1)
To Obour Tanner (May 10, 1779)
162(1)
Variant Letters
To the Countess of Huntingdon (October 25, 1770)
163(1)
To the Earl of Dartmouth (June 3, 1773)
164(1)
Proposals for Volumes of Poetry
Proposal for Printing by Subscription (February 29, 1772)
165(2)
Proposals (April 16, 1773)
167(1)
Proposals (October 30, 1779)
167(3)
Wheatley's Final Proposal (September 1784)
170(1)
Notes 171(24)
Appendix A: Possible Wheatley variant of ``Hymn to Humanity''; Possible new Phillis Wheatley poem, ``The Voice of Freedom'' 195(4)
Appendix B: Lucy Terry Price
Bars Fight
199(3)
Appendix C: Jupiter Hammon
An Evening Thought. Salvation by Christ, With Penetential Cries
202(2)
An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly [sic]
204(4)
``A Poem for Children with Thoughts on Death''
208(3)
A Dialogue Entitledd the Kind Master and Dutiful Servant
211(11)
Appendix D: Francis Williams
An ODE
222

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