(DM) Priceless trove of poems by English writer Gerard Manley Hopkins is discovered after the tortured genius saved his handwritten gems from the world

Regarded as one of the greatest and most innovative poets in the English language, Gerard Manley Hopkins’s revolutionary work had an influence on T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas and W.H. Auden — despite being completely unknown to the wider public in his lifetime.

Now a priceless archive of his work and hand-written notes and letters has been saved for the nation.

Kept by his friend, the then much more celebrated poet Robert Bridges, one document in the trove suggests he did not rate Hopkins’s work as first class at the time.

The collection also includes Hopkins’s so-called ‘A’ manuscript of 74 of his poems, many of them written in Hopkins’s own hand.

Tragically, he died young — of typhoid, in Dublin, aged just 44 in 1889 — whereas his friend Bridges lived on well into the 20th century, becoming Poet Laureate.

The literary gold mine has been acquired by the nation through the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme (AIL), which allows people to hand over artworks to cover inheritance tax.

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Posted in History, Poetry & Literature