George Crabbe was born in 1754 in the village of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England. He apprenticed to a doctor at the age of 14 but left his village and medical career in 1780 to pursue his literary interests in London. With the help of Edmund Burke, Crabbe published The Library (1781) and became a clergyman. Writing out of the Augustan tradition, he used primarily heroic couplets. In The Village (1783), he eschewed idealized visions of pastoral life and portrayed the hardships of rural poverty. His poem The Borough (1810) included realistic descriptions of characters in a village. His other collections of poetry include The Newspaper (1785), Tales in Verse (1812), and Tales of the Hall (1819).
Crabbe worked as a clergyman in Leicestershire and Suffolk and was a longtime opium user. Byron and the Romantic poets admired his poetry, as did Jane Austen. Benjamin Britten based his opera Peter Grimes on a character from The Borough. Crabbe died in 1832.