Parnell, Thomas

Parnell, Thomas
   Irish-English poet, born in Dublin, he graduated M.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1700. He was ordained priest in 1703, installed minor canon of St. Patrick's, Dublin in 1704, and was made archdeacon of Clogher in 1706 and doctor of divinity by Dublin University in 1712. His Homer's Battle of the Frogs and Mice was published in 1717. He was taken ill at Chester, where he died and was buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church. According to his friend Alexander Pope (see entry) Parnell was an amiable character but too fond of the drink. Pope, although younger, offered Parnell advice on his poems and in return relied on Parnell's scholarship in his translation of the Iliad. The best of Parnell's poems are "The Hermit, the Fairy Tale," "Hymn to Contentment," and "Hesiod, or the Rise of Woman." Parnell's "Night Piece on Death" is said to have influenced Thomas Gray's (see entry) "An Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard." Some of his other poems: "A Tavern Feast," "Hezekiah," "The Isle of Wight," "The Test of Poetry," "The Vigil of Venus," "To Mr. Pope."
   Sources: Chapters into Verse, Vol. I: Genesis to Malachi. Robert Atwan and Laurance Wieder, eds. Oxford University Press, 1993. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. The National Portrait Gallery ( Poems on Several Occasions of Thomas Parnell. Alexander Pope, ed. H. Lintot, 1737. Samuel Johnson's Lives of the English Poets, 1779-1781 ( The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 ( The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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  • PARNELL, THOMAS —    English minor poet of the Queen Anne period, born in Dublin, of a Cheshire family; studied at Trinity College, took orders, and became archdeacon of Clogher; is best known as the author of The Hermit, though his odes The Night Piece on Death… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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