Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Although Thomas Hood lived an uneventful and somewhat undramatic life, it was not entirely fruitless. His unparalleled misfortune in health and economy was scarcely offset by a felicitous family life; but his poetry--some inane, some mediocre, some excellent--balanced an otherwise pathetic existence. There has been no conscious attempt in this paper to present Thomas as an undiscovered genius. His works and his life have been evaluated for their peculiar merit alone, but a study of those has revealed points hitherto vague and misunderstood as well as forgotten.

As a writer of unmitigated fun, Thomas Hood is hardly excelled. Where he found it impossible to refrain from a characteristic overflow of punning, he neutralized the fault with an equally characteristic grotesque comedy as well as his real talent for logical puns. His poetry is a sort of comic relief in the long and honorable panorama of English Literature.