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WALTER QUINTON GRESHAM (1832-1895)

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Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 583 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WALTER QUINTON GRESHAM (1832-1895), American atmosphere which surrounds it, the delicacy in which the little prattling ways of the nuns, their jealousies, their tiny trifles, are presented, takes the reader entirely by surprise. The poem stands absolutely unrivalled, even among French conies en vers. Gresset found himself famous. He left Rouen, went up to Paris, where he found refuge in the same garret which had sheltered him when a boy at the College Louis le Grand, and there wrote his second poem, La Chartreuse. It was followed by the Caree"me impromptu, the Lutrin vivant and Les Ombres. Then trouble came upon him; complaints were made to the fathers of the alleged licentiousness of his verses, the real cause of complaint being the ridicule which Vert Vert seemed to throw upon the whole race of nuns and the anti-clerical tendency of the other poems. An example, it was urged, must be made; Gresset was expelled the order. Men of robust mind would have been glad to get rid of such a yoke. Gresset, who had never been taught to stand alone, went forth weeping. He went to Paris in 1740 and there produced Edouard III, a tragedy (1740) and Sidnei (1745), a comedy. These were followed by Le Mechant which still keeps the stage, and is qualified by Brunetiere as the best verse comedy 9f the French 18th century theatre, not excepting even the Metromanie of Alexis Piron. Gresset was admitted to the Academy in 1748. And then, still young, he retired to Amiens, where his relapse from the discipline of the church became the subject of the deepest remorse. He died at Amiens on the 16t,i;i of June 1777. The best edition of his poems is A.A. Renouard's (1811). See Jules Wogue, J. B. L. Gresset (1894).
End of Article: WALTER QUINTON GRESHAM (1832-1895)
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