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A Short Biographical Sketch of WILLIAM SHENSTONE (1714 to 1763)

by John W. Cousin

SHENSTONE, WILLIAM (1714-1763). —Poet, s. of Thomas S., owner of a small estate at Hales Owen, Shropshire. At this place, called the Leasowes, the poet was b. In 1732 he went to Oxf. On his father's death he retired to the Leasowes where he passed his time, and ran through his means in transforming it into a marvel of landscape gardening, visited by strangers from all parts of the kingdom. The works of S. consist of poems and prose essays. Of the former two, The Schoolmistress, a humorous imitation of Spenser, with many quaint and tender touches, and the Pastoral Ballad in four parts, perhaps the best of its kind in the language, survive. The essays also display good sense and a pointed and graceful style. The last years of S. were clouded by financial embarrassments and perhaps also by disappointed affections. After his death his works, were coll. and pub. by Dodsley.