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English village life and villagers in the east of England in the late 1700’s and early 1800s—is the subject of The Borough. George Crabbe was an English poet, surgeon, and clergyman. He is best known for his early use of the realistic narrative form and his descriptions of middle and working-class life and people. Lord Byron, an avowed admirer of Crabbe's poetry, described him as "nature's sternest painter, yet the best." Crabbe's poetry was predominantly in the form of heroic couplets, and has been described as unsentimental in its depiction of provincial life and society. Modern critic Frank Whitehead has said that "Crabbe, in his verse tales in particular, is an important–indeed, a major–poet whose work has been and still is seriously undervalued." A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely. Benjamin Britten took the story of Peter Grimes (Letter 22) for his opera of the same name, though Britten changed the import of the story.