George Crabbe is buried in the sanctuary of St. James's Church,
Trowbridge, Wiltshire. There is a memorial tablet to him on the north
wall of the chancel.(See map...ref no. 11)
St James's Church, Trowbridge
Crabbe had two careers as a poet: one in the
seventeenth century with poems such as The Library and The
Village and one in the eighteenth century with his highly original
long poems such as The Borough and Tales in Verse.
early work was influenced by the
classical poets such as Pope and this is
apparent in his frequent use of the heroic couplet.
As a young man
Crabbe abandoned a career as a doctor in order to pursue the literary
life. However, he was virtually destitute when Edmund Burke recognised
his potential. It was also Burke who encouraged him to enter the church.
For the last 18
years of his life Crabbe was vicar of Trowbridge. He was inspired to write whilst
sitting under a mulberry tree in the rectory grounds. He was also reputed to
have taken opium for 40 years with no ill effects.
Byron admired Crabbe's poetry and called him: 'Nature's sternest
painter yet the best'. He was also a friend of Sir
Walter Scott and Jane
Austin's favourite poet. His best work is characterised by realistic and
meticulously observed portraits of rural life.
1945 Benjamin Britten composed the opera Peter Grimes based on the character
in The Borough.
There is also a monument
commemorating Crabbe in Aldburgh, Suffolk - the town where he was born -
and upon which he based The Borough.