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Robert W. Service

Robert William Service (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon". Service is best known for his poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907; also published as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). "These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day.” Early life Robert W. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, the first of ten children. His father, also Robert Service, was a banker from Kilwinning, Scotland who had been transferred to England. At five years old Robert W. Service went to live in Kilwinning with his three maiden aunts and his paternal grandfather, who was the town's postmaster. There he is said to have composed his first verse, a grace, on his sixth birthday: God bless the cakes and bless the jam; Bless the cheese and the cold boiled ham: Bless the scones Aunt Jeannie makes, And save us all from bellyaches. Amen At nine Service rejoined his parents who had moved to Glasgow. He attended Glasgow's Hillhead High School. After leaving school Service joined the Commercial Bank of Scotland which would later become the Royal Bank of Scotland. He was writing at this time and reportedly already "selling his verses". He was also reading poetry: Browning, Keats, Tennyson, and Thackeray. Service moved to Canada at the age of 21 and travelled to Vancouver Island, British Columbia with his Buffalo Bill outfit and dreams of becoming a cowboy. He drifted around western North America, "wandering from California to British Columbia," taking and quitting a series of jobs: "Starving in Mexico, residing in a California bordello, farming on Vancouver Island and pursuing unrequited love in Vancouver." This sometimes required him to leech off his parent's Scottish neighbors and friends who had previously immigrated to Canada. In 1899 Service was a store clerk in Cowichan Bay, British Columbia. He mentioned to a customer (Charles H. Gibbons, editor of the Victoria Daily Colonist) that he wrote verses, with the result that six poems by "R.S." on the Boer Wars had appeared in the Colonist by July 1900 – including "The March of the Dead" that would later appear in his first book. (Service's brother Alick was a prisoner of the Boers at the time, having been captured on November 15, 1899, alongside Winston Churchill.) The Colonist also published Service's "Music in the Bush" on September 18, 1901, and "The Little Old Log Cabin" on March 16, 1902. In her 2006 biography, Under the Spell of the Yukon, Enid Mallory revealed that Service had fallen in love during this period. He was working as a "farm labourer and store clerk when he first met Constance MacLean at a dance in Duncan B.C, where she was visiting her uncle." MacLean lived in Vancouver, on the mainland, so he courted her by mail. Though he was smitten, "MacLean was looking for a man of education and means to support her" so was not that interested. To please her, he took courses at McGill University's Victoria College, but failed. Down on his luck in 1903, Service was hired by a Canadian Bank of Commerce branch in Victoria, British Columbia, using his Commercial Bank letter of reference. The bank "watched him, gave him a raise, and sent him to Kamloops in the middle of British Columbia. In Victoria he lived over the bank with a hired piano, and dressed for dinner. In Kamloops, horse country, he played polo. In the fall of 1904 the bank sent him to their Whitehorse branch in the Yukon. With the expense money he bought himself a raccoon coat." Throughout this period, Service continued writing and saving his verses: "more than a third of the poems in his first volume had been written before he moved north in 1904.” Yukon period Whitehorse was a frontier town, less than ten years old. Located on the Yukon River at the White Horse Rapids, it had begun in 1897 as a campground for prospectors on their way to Dawson City to join the Klondike Gold Rush. The railroad that Service rode in on, the White Pass and Yukon Route, had reached Whitehorse only in 1900. Settling in, "Service dreamed and listened to the stories of the great gold rush." He also "took part in the extremely active Whitehorse social life. As was popular at the time he recited at concerts – things like 'Casey at the Bat' and 'Gunga Din', but they were getting stale." One day (Service later wrote), while pondering what to recite at an upcoming church concert he met E.J. “Stroller” White, editor of the Whitehorse Star. White suggested: "Why don’t you write a poem for it? Give us something about our own bit of earth. We sure would appreciate it. There’s a rich paystreak waiting for someone to work. Why don’t you go in and stake it?” Returning from a walk one Saturday night, Service heard the sounds of revelry from a saloon, and the phrase "A bunch of the boys were whooping it up" popped into his head. Inspired, he ran to the bank to write it down (almost being shot as a burglar), and by the next morning "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" was complete. "A month or so later he heard a gold rush yarn from a Dawson mining man about a fellow who cremated his pal." He spent the night walking in the woods composing "The Cremation of Sam McGee", and wrote it down from memory the next day. Other verses quickly followed. "In the early spring he stood above the heights of Miles Canyon ... the line 'I have gazed on naked grandeur where there’s nothing else to gaze on' came into his mind and again he hammered out a complete poem, "The Call of the Wild". Conversations with locals led Service to write about things he had not seen (some of which had not actually happened) as well. He did not set foot in Dawson City until 1908, arriving in the Klondike ten years after the Gold Rush when his renown as a writer was already established. After having collected enough poems for a book, Service "sent the poems to his father, who had emigrated to Toronto, and asked him to find a printing house so they could make it into a booklet. He enclosed a cheque to cover the costs and intended to give these booklets away to his friends in Whitehorse" for Christmas. His father took the manuscript to William Briggs in Toronto, whose employees loved the book. "The foreman and printers recited the ballads while they worked. A salesman read the proofs out loud as they came off the typesetting machines." An "enterprising salesman sold 1700 copies in advance orders from galley proofs." The publisher "sent Robert's cheque back to him and offered a ten percent royalty contract for the book." Service's book, Songs of a Sourdough, was "an immediate success." It went through seven printings even before its official release date. Ultimately, Briggs "sold fifteen impressions in 1907. That same year there was an edition in New York, Philadelphia, and London. The London publisher, T. Fisher Unwin, struck a twenty-third printing in 1910, and thirteen more by 1917." "Service eventually earned in excess of $100, for Songs of a Sourdough alone (Mackay 14, 408n19)." (In the United States, the book would be given the more Jack London-ish title, The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). "When copies of the book reached Whitehorse, Robert's own minister took him aside to let him know how wicked were his stories. Service hung his head in shame.... But, that summer, tourists from the south arrived in Whitehorse looking for the famous poet; and he autographed many of his books." "In 1908, after working for the bank for three years in Whitehorse, he was sent outside on mandatory paid leave for three months, a standard practice for bank employees serving in the Yukon." According to Enid Mallory, he went to Vancouver and looked up Constance MacLean. Now that he was a successful author, she agreed to become engaged to him. Following his leave, in 1908 the bank transferred Service to Dawson, where he met and talked to veterans of the Gold Rush, now ten years in the past: "they loved to reminisce, and Robert listened carefully and remembered." He used their tales to write a second book of verse, Ballads of a Cheechako, in 1908. "It too was an overwhelming success." In 1909, when the bank wanted Service to return to Whitehorse as manager, he decided to resign. "After quitting his job, he rented a small two-room cabin on Eighth Avenue in Dawson City from Mrs. Edna Clarke and began his career as a full-time author." He immediately "went to work on his novel.... He went for walks that lasted all night, slept till mid-afternoon, and sometimes didn't come out of the cabin for days. In five months the novel, called The Trail of '98, was complete and he took it to a publisher in New York." Service's first novel also "immediately became a best-seller." Newly wealthy, Service was able to travel to Paris, the French Riviera, Hollywood, and beyond. He returned to Dawson City in 1912 to write his third book of poetry, Ballads of a Rolling Stone (1912). During that time he became a freemason, being initiated into Yukon Lodge No. 45 in Dawson. It is not known what happened between Service and Constance MacLean. There are no known letters between then from after the time Service went to Dawson City. In 1912 she "married Leroy Grant, a surveyor and railroad engineer based in Prince Rupert.” Later life Service left Dawson City for good in 1912. From 1912 to 1913 he was a correspondent for the Toronto Star during the Balkan Wars. In 1913 Service arrived in Paris, where he would live for the next 15 years. He settled in the Latin Quarter, posing as a painter. In June 1913 he married Parisienne Germaine Bougeoin, daughter of a distillery owner, and they purchased a summer home at Lancieux, Côtes-d'Armor, in the Brittany region of France. Thirteen years younger than her husband, Germaine Service lived 31 years following his death, dying at age 102 in 1989. Robert Service was 41 when World War I broke out; he enlisted, but was turned down "due to varicose veins." He briefly covered the war for the Toronto Star (from December 11, 1915 through January 29, 1916), but "was arrested and nearly executed in an outbreak of spy hysteria in Dunkirk." – then "worked as a stretcher bearer and ambulance driver with the Ambulance Corps of the American Red Cross, until his health broke." Convalescing in Paris, he wrote a new book of mainly war poetry, Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, in 1916. The book was dedicated to the memory of Service's "brother, Lieutenant Albert Service, Canadian Infantry, Killed in Action, France, August 1916." With the end of the war, Service "settled down to being a rich man in Paris.... During the day he would promenade in the best suits, with a monocle. At night he went out in old clothes with the company of his doorman, a retired policeman, to visit the lowest dives of the city.". During his time in Paris he was reputedly the wealthiest author living in the city, yet was known to dress as a working man and walk the streets, blending in and observing everything around him. Those experiences would be used in his next book of poetry, Ballads of a Bohemian (1921), "The poems are given in the persona of an American poet in Paris who serves as an ambulance driver and an infantryman in the war. The verses are separated by diary entries over a period of four years." In the 1920s Service began writing thriller novels. The Poisoned Paradise, A Romance of Monte Carlo (New York, 1922) and The Roughneck. A Tale of Tahiti (New York, 1923) would both be made into silent movies. In 1930 Service returned to Kilwinning, to erect a memorial to his family in the town cemetery. He also visited the USSR in the 1930s and later wrote a satirical "Ballad of Lenin's Tomb". For this reason his poetry has never been translated into Russian in the USSR and he was never mentioned in Soviet encyclopedias. Service's second trip to the Soviet Union "was interrupted by news of the Hitler-Stalin pact. Service fled across Poland, Latvia, Estonia and the Baltic to Stockholm. He wintered in Nice with his family, then fled France for Canada." Not long after, the Nazi's invaded France, and "arrived at his home in Lancieux ... looking specifically for the poet who had mocked Hitler in newspaper verse." During World War II Service lived in California, "and Hollywood had him join with other celebrities in helping the morale of troops – visiting US Army camps to recite his poems. He was also asked to play himself in the movie The Spoilers (1942), working alongside Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne and Randolph Scott." "He was thrilled to play a scene with Marlene Dietrich." After the war Service and his wife returned to his home in Brittany, to find it destroyed. They rebuilt, and he lived there until his death in 1958, though he wintered in Monte Carlo on the French Riviera. Service's wife and daughter, Iris, travelled to the Yukon in 1946 "and visited Whitehorse and Dawson City, which by then was becoming a ghost town. Service could not bring himself to go back. He preferred to remember the town as it had been." Service wrote prolifically during his last years, publishing six books of verse from 1949 to 1955 (with one more appearing posthumously the following year). It was at Service's flat in Monte Carlo that Canadian broadcaster Pierre Berton recorded, over a period of three days, many hours of autobiographical television interview, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in the spring of 1958, not long before Service died. Service wrote two volumes of autobiography - Ploughman of the Moon and Harper of Heaven. He died in Lancieux and is buried there in the local cemetery. Writing Robert Service wrote the most commercially successful poetry of the century.[says who?] Yet his most popular works "were considered doggerel by the literary set." During his lifetime, he was nicknamed "the Canadian Kipling." – yet that may have been a double-edged compliment. As T. S. Eliot has said, "we have to defend Kipling against the charge of excessive lucidity," "the charge of being a 'journalist' appealing only to the commonest collective emotion," and "the charge of writing jingles." All those charges, and more, could be levelled against Service's best known and best loved works. Certainly Service's verse was derivative of Kipling's. In "The Cremation of Sam McGee", for instance, he uses the form of Kipling's "The Ballad of East and West". In his E. J. Pratt lecture "Silence In the Sea," critic Northrop Frye argued that Service's verse was not "serious poetry," but something else he called "popular poetry": "the idioms of popular and serious poetry remain inexorably distinct." Popular poems, he thought, "preserve a surface of explicit statement" – either being "proverbial, like Kipling's 'If' or Longfellow's 'Song of Life' or Burns's 'For A' That'," or dealing in "conventionally poetic themes, like the pastoral themes of James Whitcomb Riley, or the adventurous themes of Robert Service." Service himself did not call his work poetry. "“Verse, not poetry, is what I was after ... something the man in the street would take notice of and the sweet old lady would paste in her album; something the schoolboy would spout and the fellow in the pub would quote. Yet I never wrote to please anyone but myself; it just happened. I belonged to the simple folks whom I liked to please.” In his autobiography, Service described his method of writing at his Dawson City cabin. "I used to write on the coarse rolls of paper used by paper–hangers, pinning them on the wall and printing my verses in big charcoal letters. Then I would pace back and forth before them, repeating them, trying to make them perfect. I wanted to make them appeal to the eye as well as to the ear. I tried to avoid any literal quality." One remarkable thing about both of Service's best-known ballads is how easily he wrote them. When writing about composing "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", 'easy' was exactly the word he used: "For it came so easy to me in my excited state that I was amazed at my facility. It was as if someone was whispering in my ear." And this was just after someone had tried to shoot him. He continued: "As I wrote stanza after stanza, the story seemed to evolve itself. It was a marvelous experience. Before I crawled into my bed at five in the morning, my ballad was in the bag." Similarly, when he wrote "The Cremation of Sam McGee", the verses just flowed: "“I took the woodland trail, my mind seething with excitement and a strange ecstasy.... As I started in: There are strange things done in the midnight sun, verse after verse developed with scarce a check ... and when I rolled happily into bed, my ballad was cinched. Next day, with scarcely any effort of memory I put it on paper." In 1926, Archibald MacMechan, Professor of English at Canada's Dalhousie University, pronounced on Service's Yukon books in his Headwaters of Canadian Literature: The sordid, the gross, the bestial, may sometimes be redeemed by the touch of genius; but that Promethean touch is not in Mr. Service. In manner he is frankly imitative of Kipling's barrack-room balladry; and imitation is an admission of inferiority. 'Sourdough' is Yukon slang for the provident old-timer ... It is a convenient term for this wilfully violent kind of verse without the power to redeem the squalid themes it treats. The Ballads of a Cheechako is a second installment of sourdoughs, while his novel The Trail of '98 is simply sourdough prose. MacMechan did give grudging respect to Service's World War I poetry, conceding that his style went well with that subject, and that "his Rhymes of a Red Cross Man are an advance on his previous volumes. He has come into touch with the grimmest of realities; and while his radical faults have not been cured, his rude lines drive home the truth that he has seen." Reviewing Service's Rhymes of a Rebel in 1952, Frye remarked that the book "interests me chiefly because ... I have noticed so much verse in exactly the same idiom, and I wonder how far Mr. Service's books may have influenced it. There was a time, fifty years ago," he added," when Robert W.Service represented, with some accuracy, the general level of poetic experience in Canada, as far as the popular reader was concerned.... there has been a prodigious, and, I should think, a permanent, change in public taste." Service has also been noted for his use of ethnonyms that would normally be considered offensive "slurs", but with no insult apparently intended. Words used in Service's poetry include jerries (Germans), dago (Italian), pickaninny (in reference to a Mozambican infant), cheechako (newcomer to the Yukon and Alaska gold fields, usually from the U.S.), nigger (black person), squaw (Aboriginal woman), and Jap (Japanese). Recognition Robert W. Service has been honoured with schools named for him including Service High School in Anchorage, Alaska, Robert Service Senior Public School (Middle/ Jr. High) in Toronto, Ontario and Robert Service School in Dawson City. He was also honoured on a Canadian postage stamp in 1976. The Robert Service Way, a main road in Whitehorse, is named after him. Additionally, the Bard & Banker public house in Victoria is dedicated to him, the building having at one time been a Canadian Bank of Commerce branch where Service was employed while residing in the city. In 2010 Phillips Brewery in Victoria released the Service 1904 Scottish Stone Fired Ale, available only on tap in three Victoria locations: The Bard & Banker, Irish Times, and Penny Farthing public houses. Service's first novel, The Trail of '98, was made into a movie by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Clarence Brown. "Trail of '98 starring Dolores del Río, Ralph Forbes and Karl Dane in 1929 ... was the first talking picture dealing with the Klondike gold rush and was acclaimed at the time by critics for depicting the Klondike as it really was." Folksinger Country Joe McDonald set some of Service's World War I poetry (plus "The March of the Dead" from his first book), to music for his 1971 studio album, War War War. Dawson City cabin Robert Service lived from 1909 to 1912 in a small two-room cabin on 8th Avenue which he rented from Edna Clarke in Dawson City. His prosperity allowed him the luxury of a telephone. Service eventually decided he could not return to Dawson, as it would not be as he remembered it. He wrote in his autobiography: "Only yesterday an air-line offered to fly me up there in two days, and I refused. It would have saddened me to see dust and rust where once hummed a rousing town; hundreds where were thousands; tumbledown cabins, mouldering warehouses." After Service left for Europe, the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.) took care of the cabin until 1971, preserving it. In 1971 it was taken over by Parks Canada, which maintains it, including its sod roof, as a tourist attraction. Irish-born actor Tom Byrne created The Robert Service Show which was presented in the front yard of the cabin, starting in 1976. This was very popular for summer visitors and set the standard for Robert Service recitations. A resurgence in sales of Service's works followed the institution of these performances. Byrne discontinued the show at the cabin in 1995, moving it to a Front Street storefront. Since 2004 the show has been held at the Westmark Hotel in Dawson City at 3:00 p.m. every day during the summer months. Byrne collects Robert Service first editions, and corresponded with Service's widow for years. At the Service Cabin, local Dawson entertainers dressed in period costumes and employed by Parks Canada offer biographical information and recite Service's poetry for visitors sitting on benches on the front lawn. Johnny Nunan performed this role through 2006. The present performer shares his first name (Fred). Following the presentation, visitors can view Service's home through the windows and front door. The fragility of the house, and the rarity of the artifacts, precludes any possibility of allowing visitors to enter the house itself. Publications Poetry * Songs of a Sourdough (Toronto: William Briggs, 1907) [U.S. as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1907)]. * Ballads of a Cheechako (Toronto: William Briggs, 1909) * Rhymes of a Rolling Stone (Toronto: William Briggs, 1912) * Rhymes of a Red Cross Man (Toronto: William Briggs, 1916) * Ballads of a Bohemian (Toronto: G.J. McLeod, 1921) * Twenty Bath-Tub Ballads (London: Francis, Day and Hunter, 1939) * Bar-Room Ballads (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1940) * Songs of a Sun-Lover. A Book of Light Verse (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1949.) * Rhymes of a Roughneck. A Book of Verse (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1950). * Lyrics of a Lowbrow. A Book of Verse (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1951.). * Rhymes of a Rebel. A Book of Verse (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1952). * Songs for my Supper (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1953). * Carols of an Old Codger (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1955). * Rhymes for My Rags (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1956). Collections * The Collected Verse of Robert W. Service (London : E. Benn, 1930, 43, 48, 51, 53, 60, 73) * The Complete Poems of Robert W. Service (New York : Dodd Mead, 1933) * Rhyme and Romance: a Robert Service anthology (London : E. Benn, 1949) * Later Collected Verse (New York : Dodd Mead, 1954, 55, 65) * More Collected Verse (New York : Dodd Mead, 1955) * Songs of the High North (London : E. Benn, 1958) * The Song of the Campfire, illustrated by Richard Galaburr (New York : Dodd Mead, 1912, 39, 78) * The Shooting of Dan McGrew and Other Favorite Poems, jacket drawing by Eric Watts ( Dodd Mead, 1980) * Servicewise and Otherwise: a selection of extracts in prose and verse from the works of Robert W. Service, which may serve as an introduction to the virile writings of that celebrated author ; collected and arranged by Arthur H. Stewart Fiction * The Trail of Ninety-Eight, A Northland Romance (Toronto: William Briggs, 1909) * The Pretender. A story of the Latin quarter (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1914). * The Poisoned Paradise: A Romance of Monte Carlo (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1922) * The Roughneck, A Tale of Tahiti (New York: Barse and Hopkins, 1923) * The Master of the Microbe: A Fantastic Romance (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1926) * The House of Fear, A Novel (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1927) Non-fiction * Why Not Grow Young? or Living for Longevity (London: Ernest Benn, 1928) * Ploughman of the Moon, An Adventure Into Memory (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1945) - autobiography * Harper of Heaven. A Record of Radiant Living (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1948) - autobiography References Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Service

Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, on January 6, 1878. His parents, August and Clara Johnson, had emigrated to America from the north of Sweden. After encountering several August Johnsons in his job for the railroad, the Sandburg's father renamed the family. The Sandburgs were very poor; Carl left school at the age of thirteen to work odd jobs, from laying bricks to dishwashing, to help support his family. At seventeen, he traveled west to Kansas as a hobo. He then served eight months in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American war. While serving, Sandburg met a student at Lombard College, the small school located in Sandburg's hometown. The young man convinced Sandburg to enroll in Lombard after his return from the war. Sandburg worked his way through school, where he attracted the attention of Professor Philip Green Wright, who not only encouraged Sandburg's writing, but paid for the publication of his first volume of poetry, a pamphlet called Reckless Ecstasy (1904). While Sandburg attended Lombard for four years, he never received a diploma (he would later receive honorary degrees from Lombard, Knox College, and Northwestern University). After college, Sandburg moved to Milwaukee, where he worked as an advertising writer and a newspaper reporter. While there, he met and married Lillian Steichen (whom he called Paula), sister of the photographer Edward Steichen. A Socialist sympathizer at that point in his life, Sandburg then worked for the Social-Democrat Party in Wisconsin and later acted as secretary to the first Socialist mayor of Milwaukee from 1910 to 1912. The Sandburgs soon moved to Chicago, where Carl became an editorial writer for the Chicago Daily News. Harriet Monroe had just started Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, and began publishing Sandburg's poems, encouraging him to continue writing in the free-verse, Whitman-like style he had cultivated in college. Monroe liked the poems' homely speech, which distinguished Sandburg from his predecessors. It was during this period that Sandburg was recognized as a member of the Chicago literary renaissance, which included Ben Hecht, Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, and Edgar Lee Masters. He established his reputation with Chicago Poems (1916), and then Cornhuskers (1918). Soon after the publication of these volumes Sandburg wrote Smoke and Steel (1920), his first prolonged attempt to find beauty in modern industrialism. With these three volumes, Sandburg became known for his free verse poems celebrating industrial and agricultural America, American geography and landscape, and the American common people. In the twenties, he started some of his most ambitious projects, including his study of Abraham Lincoln. From childhood, Sandburg loved and admired the legacy of President Lincoln. For thirty years he sought out and collected material, and gradually began the writing of the six-volume definitive biography of the former president. The twenties also saw Sandburg's collections of American folklore, the ballads in The American Songbag and The New American Songbag (1950), and books for children. These later volumes contained pieces collected from brief tours across America which Sandburg took each year, playing his banjo or guitar, singing folk-songs, and reciting poems. In the 1930s, Sandburg continued his celebration of America with Mary Lincoln, Wife and Widow (1932), The People, Yes (1936), and the second part of his Lincoln biography, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years (1939), for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He received a second Pulitzer Prize for his Complete Poems in 1950. His final volumes of verse were Harvest Poems, 1910-1960 (1960) and Honey and Salt (1963). Carl Sandburg died in 1967. Poetry Chicago Poems (1916) Complete Poems (1950) Cornhuskers (1918) Good Morning, America (1928) Harvest Poems (1950) Honey and Salt (1963) In Reckless Ecstasy (1904) Selected Poems (1926) Slabs of the Sunburnt West (1922) Smoke and Steel (1920) The People, Yes (1936) Prose Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years (1926) Abraham Lincoln: The War Years (1939) Mary Lincoln: Wife and Widow (1932) Steichen the Photographer (1929) The American Songbag (1927) The New American Songbag (1950) References Poets.org - www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/28

C.R.Stanger

"Heaven shines thru the eyes of the wicked" -The Phoenix, Raven,Snake,Queen -C.R.S... For my bio in poetical terms read my poems The Phoenix The raven The Snake and The Queen The Final Druid Of Desire Beneath the Tide Raw Possession (Or any of my obsessive love poetry) (my personal poems about my true self that still ring true today) I lose hope in my poetry twice a year or so...and think I'm a failure at writing..this is probably normal of us poets...so I disappear for awhile and then I come back stronger... down there is other pointless stuff id doubt anyone will want to read :) WHAT MY POETRY IS TO ME:(or what my poetry is about) poetry is my passion...or i should say just one of my many...I express problems of the soul, psyche, philosophy and revelation of the spirit through poetry ...the historical battle.. and revolution of the mind and generation of today..i can be introspective and my poetry is ever so slightly intellectual ...but to be honest its not intellectual enough..because honestly I'm not much of an intellectual..however i am somewhat a philosopher even if my philosophy isn't exactly intelligent ..also addiction and substance abuse which is one thing unlike the rest.. i almost fully understand...and in no way is that a cool thing..foolish, juvenile and ruin of life...hopefully people see that... and then i love to write of historical things that are somewhat morbid ....and without trying write of savage obsession...possession almost vampiric In nature...love... Those are many of my pieces..I touch on the chaos of the spirit or at least mine and I am a huge apocalyptic writer....it does not mean i believe the end of the world is nigh...i just find it fascinating and terrifying....so fun in other words...alot of fate in my poetry...and destiny ..i choose fate over destiny because it is a pretty word to make fate seem a little less intense ... The soul itself is ancient and I believe somewhere I can express something of yesterday .. I love poetry to be deeply psychological, raw , intense, passionate and elegant ...i write of the loss of innocence...and the loss of sanity..at least the insanity that i know of..there are many levels and types of insanity..and I'm sure everyone of us has one..as poets i can almost promise it...I love writing of anything from the mind which constantly is probing taboo and trying to help myself and others see it from the side that understand it. (I've yet to put that on here but i may when i feel out everyone more)..also the parts of the soul that many try to forget they have i like to write about and try to pull out ..anything forbidden or forgotten ..burial grounds .. Scenes of murder ...cemeteries you know like all of us poets or at least the ones i know..hehe ...but who can help it ..hey i like writing about death and loss and insane asylums..once again a lot of us do ..probably because the reality and tragedy in it and we love that stuff ....but then again sometimes a cemetery is beautiful because it is silent and full of life and thats why i think poets like it ...not just because it is cold and dead, i think some get us wrong on that.. i write from anything ancient and untouched..mysterious and unknown...i love the paranormal so spirits and ghosts and hauntings frequent my poetry which i will always attach to the soul....at times my poetry can be sexual but in the way the all should understand. ***By the way the poets and poems here are the best I've ever read on a internet site .. I've deleted all my other site accounts because this one is just classy and It's like every poem I read it just amazingly realized and every poet is greatly talented ... Everyone here could teach me so much... ***BUT.... I also am in belief that many poets of My Generation simply would rather be heard than listen and want people to read there stuff but don't want to read others and learn from others .. I hope to be proven wrong .. I myself am a child of this generation and had to break free of that selfish cycle*** WHO I AM SOMEWHAT:: In my latest years I've tried to stay lighter and deviate from my former self which was dark and ugly and whiney and sad ... There's pieces of it all over my poetry when I wrote the he phoenix ect. the darker part of my Mind was taking over and I expressed it thru that ... Since then I've come back to my natural somewhat positive self ... like every poet we go in circles ... We go down and up and write of our experiences ....i understand I'm dramatic and probably should just be slapped in the face sometimes hehe...im from a small town in Texas and love it .. Everybody seems to think we are backwards and i don't know ...well don't pretend like you don't know the stereotypes ;) ...and all that but it's not true yea we got our crazies but does not everyone? ...hmm why am i talking about that now? ahem..anyways ...only there is not enough history here in the states ...i write a lot of the old world which i dramatically feel my soul transferred from ..i think a lot of poets feel reincarnated..alot of us may be old souls ...yes i sound like a nutcase and very silly and dreamy and unrealistic but strangley i also have a foot in realism and things are very real to me ...so my poetry takes on the duality i love so much ...extreme to extreme...my self portrait poem "the Pheonix The Raven The Snake and The Queen....explains me in all its lines and hints in it can be seen in all my poetry... ...but "Passion to passion heard, felt and seen Extreme to extreme, obscene to redeem I am the snake and I am the queen Inside is a halo, inside is a devil Inside it is pure inside is an evil Not on the shoulder but fixed in the soul Neither lets go, the phoenix, the crow One gives me wings, one takes me below ...Keep the fire within where the fire belongs all i hate with such great hate and all my loves to strong" yup..this is me in a nutshell even though the poem is much longer..may not want to read it if your still reading this..probably been in my world already a little to long..i commend you on your patience.how sweet of you to still be reading...but hmm what else to say besides I've obviously more than enough told you who i am...almost to the point you might be annoyed ...Im very intense and overbearing and sometimes find myself friendless because of it ...hehe...some of my inspirations are obvious like Poe or Pasternak or Shelley. Others not so much ...Pink Floyd...or Red Hot Chili Peppers and Modest Mouse...and uh many many others MY TAKE ON POETRY AND WHAT IT IS AND HOW ITS DONE IN MY OPINION ONLY:: all that is phony disturbs me...i am who i am....i do not put on airs of "disturbed feelings" to get attention...in fact I'm seen as a "dark" person by some yet actually quite positive maybe because I'm silent unless I'm writing and then I'm like an open book...i actually feel like this site helps me put more of myself out there...anyways i have met many poets who get lost in all that is on the outside ..yes they were young and hopefully they will grow out of it..but they believed a poet was a cookie cut image...and really we are all different in many ways ...we are whats real and then we are whats imagined though we likely always have an idea of the truth...the best in my eyes to be as a poet is a little of everything...this is just my opinion and take but a poet to me is ...experience...an experience of everything...a little of everything...and i envy older poets who have lived thru there life tasty all of the things out there and no so much...im sure they'd tell me to slow down and savor life..and i try but I'm ready to experience all...also i don't exactly think there is a wrong way to write poetry as in the actual writing part.. i mean format is just how your feeling it...but I'm not an expert...i write from feeling and emotions and sometimes a little touch of logic...some people can do this the other way around and its fascinating ..obviously some poetry can be bad but honestly i just believe the reader just isn't moved ....if you aren't moved then its not the poem or poet for you and that can't be helped ...this reader just hasn't experienced that writers subject (on the poem) yet and maybe they will someday...but chances are this poem may have moved someone else to tears...remember those poems you read when you were small? they didn't quite move you yet but then when innocence was lost and life came down upon you ...all of a sudden that poem hit the spot...its like that to me ...every poem...it may move you one day it may not...so really are there bad poems? or just experiences not yet experienced? poetry in my eyes is all exaggerated feeling and emotion and reaction and relation to the next person reading it ...and i guess the better the poetry the more people you move...thats how i believe it should be graded...not by a certain format or rhyme...yes there are overused rhymes and rhythm schemes and I'm not fond of it...i don't like poems that try to copy others rhymes and format ..(not talking about inspired by...good grief its painfully obvious my rhythm schemes scream Poe)..and that is truly what i like people to watch for and tell me about and critique me on also ...i wish people would ALWAYS tell me if they were moved or not...if they were moved i succeeded in that particular poem in my eyes...if i didn't ...then i failed that particular person..help me with this...? id like to work more on intellectual poetry or philosophical poetry ...mine are so emotion based even if that is a small basis of poetry i want to write smarter ... i feel if enough people tell me what moved them about a poem I can find out what moves a human being to their core...i know what moves me to my core and perhaps my poetry is selfish as in it moves me and others like me..I WANNA KNOW WHAT MOVES YOU...also ...dont be a grammar nazi....ha...ok maybe you should be... i believe in education...but I'm not very good at grammar or punctuation...sorry ::MY EARLY POETRY INSPIRATION AND FIRST POEM::(theres more???why is there more???...because theres more thats why...got things to say here) I still remember my first poem .. Well the first few lines .. I was probably 8 It was so simple yet in a way it had a depth that I had not Yet realized and still to me today reminds me much of My life ...a piece was "Candle candle burning bright..keep me burning thru the night.". eh no so great but hey i was 8...i did another rendition of it from the point of an insane man in an insane asylum ...ill put that up eventually... hmmm sounds a little like tiger tiger burning bright which i never liked as a poem but loved the poet...but i knew no poetry at that age...and i was afraid of what came out of the dark instead of now embracing it as an extension of what comes out of me...if that makes sense...the many dualities of Katie...terrified and brave all at once...anyways thats what my poem at 8 was getting at ...candle get me thru the night I'm scared of the dark please don't go out ...perhaps i need to learn to write more metaphorically...perhaps I'm using the same words to many times ::IF I WERE TO TELL A YOUNG NEW POET HOW I WROTE AND GIVE ADVICE:: (enough?...nope because for some reason i found it necessary to tell everyone what i think of young poets and what i might tell them..who knows..) my way of doing things I have gotten down to a science but only others can tell me if I've been successful or completely on the wrong track ... If I was talking to someone who just started out if be reluctant to give out advice .1. Because I'm not entirely sure I'm good enough to throw out advice 2. I beleive in giving inspiration but never telling them how to write that is part of the poetry itself .. The voice, the rhythm everything contributes to a poem and who you are inside .. Poetry is simply emotion exaggerated ... Poetry is the self given in words everyone who has a self can write poetry ... Some poetry will be better than other simply because some are naturally good at writing .. It lets so much out and lets so many in .. You can truly know someone by their poetry .. Of course some are more vision poetry in otherwords poetry on what you see but no matter how hard you try the poem becomes a poem when you put a voice in their and even when not talking of emotion you can see the self ... Anyways ...i Never settle ... Ever ..maybe for a day or week i can be like that's a good poem I just wrote but then the next day or week never say oh it's still good there's always ways to improve .. I've improved poems over and over ..the ones i put on this site I've already edited ..i know one day that has to stop but i keep reading them and think hmm nope nope this has to be different...so of course I'm not saying a poem can never be finished because I've finished many but I still think I can do better when I write a new one ...i already don't like most the ones i used to think were good.. ++ this has long helped me ....>Make every single word and thought and sentence relevant to what your idea is or make it so strong is comes out of the poem ... But I Promise you will get leagues better just by never settling .. And making sure every line is constructed to complete relevancy and strong and intense .. Craft your words to literally to stab the other person .. Move them ..if I moved someone I've succeeded .. Lastly for me in my poems ...rough or hard words and soft words ..this is a philosophy I've always found to work for me unless your poetry is more lyrical or it absolutely cannot be without the word lift it up and make it a point to use this word but I do not use a rough word in a passing or relaxed line ..i use "soft" words not "rough" example .... I do not mean cuss words I mean words like proper nouns like lubys or Dillard's but most people don't use it anyways .. But also words like the refrigerator trash dump ..stop sign ..mailbox .. Icepack...anyways list goes on and on and they aren't only nouns there are verbs and adjectives too.. There's always ways to Describe the word you want to use if it's rough and that will make u a better poet trying to find a new way to say it .. it's not The definition of these words thats rough or soft .. I can find a soft word that means the same thing as the rough and use it .. what i mean of rough words is it just sounds off in my head and soft words move the poem fluidly and a rough ones seems to stop its flow... but then again that's my style and that's exactly why u do not tell anyone one on one how to write cuz how would I know ..... But like the title says if I was to Tell a young poet something about how To start Writing poetry ... I'd love to hear what everyones advice would be ..imagine how you write then..having all those ideas on how poetry comes out of the human mind and heart ... Always looking for New ideas on poetry and how to Write so plz message with thoughts and philosphy on your way and rules of writing ... THE END OF MY LONG BIO:: anyways if your still reading I apologize and I'm surprised....but thankful ...id like to know what i can do to get better...your advice will be very helpful and appreciated ..i cannot learn enough...im a scorpio and all i feel like I've done here is overwhelm the reader...i just need to tone it down ...i feel a little exposed and a little vulnerable for letting you in so much ...hope i didnt make to much of a fool of myself telling you everything in my brain i was thinking at the moment... also i am ....PARANOID:: dont steal other peoples work...its an awfully terrible thing to do...i know i shouldn't talk about this but something in me just forces me... It's not that I feel my poetry is great enough to Steal it's just I feel it's absolutely personal to me and anyone who could take even a line shows they don't know who they are enough to express their own .. I've been told that makes sense I've been told that sounds pretentious ... But I promise I'm anything but .. I've just known a guy to say he was a writer and more imaginative because he took other people's work ?! Who could be that way ..ive also gone online and found a poem of mine on someones profile with their name at the bottom..it felt like a kick...thats like having a piece of my soul stolen..and I'm afraid of it... So of course my paranoia kicks in ... That's the basis of it ... Everything I write is extremely personal to me and I feel many would feel that way .. And funny thing is this has been the only site I felt no one here would do such a thing .. The poets here are so Classy and beyond me poetically.. I can't even get enough of this site... Some of the best unknown internet poets I've ever read here ...and everywhere .. I read a poem every hour that just blows me away ... >>HA did you read all that....no way....i commend you ...you have more patience than I...

Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928, Newton, Massachusetts – October 4, 1974, Weston, Massachusetts) was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967. Themes of her poetry include her suicidal tendencies, long battle against depression and various intimate details from her private life, including her relationships with her husband and children. Early life and family Anne Sexton was born Anne Gray Harvey in Newton, Massachusetts to Mary Gray Staples and Ralph Harvey. She spent most of her childhood in Boston. In 1945 she enrolled at Rogers Hall boarding school, Lowell, Massachusetts, later spending a year at Garland School. For a time she modeled for Boston's Hart Agency. On August 16, 1948, she married Alfred Sexton and they remained together until 1973. She had two children named Linda Gray and Joyce Ladd. Poetry Sexton suffered from severe mental illness for much of her life, her first manic episode taking place in 1954. After a second episode in 1955 she met Dr Martin Orne, who became her long-term therapist at the Glenside Hospital, and encouraged her to take up poetry. The first poetry workshop she attended was led by John Holmes. Sexton felt great trepidation about registering for the class, asking a friend to make the phone call and accompany her to the first session. She found early acclaim with her poetry; a number were accepted by The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine and the Saturday Review. Sexton later studied with Robert Lowell at Boston University alongside distinguished poets Sylvia Plath and George Starbuck. Sexton's poetic career was encouraged by her mentor W.D. Snodgrass, whom she met at the Antioch Writer's Conference in 1957. His poem "Heart's Needle" proved inspirational for her in its theme of separation from his three-year-old daughter. She first read the poem at a time when her own young daughter was living with Sexton's mother-in-law. She, in turn, wrote "The Double Image," a poem which explores the multi-generational relationship between mother and daughter. Sexton began writing letters to Snodgrass and they became friends. While working with John Holmes, Sexton encountered Maxine Kumin. They became good friends and remained so for the rest of Sexton's life. Kumin and Sexton rigorously critiqued each other's work and wrote four children's books together. In the late 1960s, the manic elements of Sexton's illness began to affect her career, though she still wrote and published work and gave readings of her poetry. She also collaborated with musicians, forming a jazz-rock group called "Her Kind" that added music to her poetry. Her play "Mercy Street," starring Marian Seldes, was produced in 1969, after several years of revisions. Within twelve years of writing her first sonnet, she was one of the most honored poets in America: a Pulitzer Prize winner, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the first female member of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Death On October 4, 1974, Sexton had lunch with poet Maxine Kumin to revise galleys for Sexton's manuscript of The Awful Rowing Toward God, scheduled for publication in March 1975 (Middlebrook 396). On returning home she put on her mother's old fur coat, removed all her rings, poured herself a glass of vodka, locked herself in her garage, and started the engine of her car, committing suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. In an interview over a year before her death, she explained she had written the first drafts of The Awful Rowing Toward God in twenty days with "two days out for despair and three days out in a mental hospital." She went on to say that she would not allow the poems to be published before her death. She is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery & Crematory in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts. Content and themes of work Sexton is seen as the modern model of the confessional poet. Aside from her standard themes of depression, isolation, suicide, and despair, her work also encompasses issues specific to women, such as menstruation and abortion—and more broadly, masturbation and adultery—before such subjects were commonly addressed in poetic discourse. Her work towards the end of the sixties has been criticized as "preening, lazy and flip" by otherwise respectful critics. Some critics regard her dependence on alcohol as compromising her last work. However, other critics see Sexton as a poet whose writing matured over time. "Starting as a relatively conventional writer, she learned to roughen up her line. . . . to use as an instrument against the 'politesse' of language, politics, religion [and] sex." Her eighth collection of poetry is entitled The Awful Rowing Toward God. The title came from her meeting with a Roman Catholic priest who, although unwilling to administer last rites, told her "God is in your typewriter." This gave the poet the desire and willpower to continue living and writing. The Awful Rowing Toward God and The Death Notebooks are among her final works, and both center on the theme of dying. Her work started out as being about herself, however as her career progressed she made periodic attempts to reach outside the realm of her own life for poetic themes. Transformations (1971), which is a revisionary re-telling of Grimm's Fairy Tales, is one such book. (Transformations was used as the libretto for the 1973 opera of the same name by American composer Conrad Susa.) Later she used Christopher Smart's Jubilate Agno and the Bible as the basis for some of her work. Much has been made of the tangled threads of her writing, her life and her depression, much in the same way as with Sylvia Plath's suicide in 1963. John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Adrienne Rich and Denise Levertov commented in separate obituaries on the role of creativity in Sexton's death. Levertov says, "We who are alive must make clear, as she could not, the distinction between creativity and self-destruction.” Subsequent controversy Following one of many suicide attempts and manic or depressive episodes, Sexton worked with therapist Dr. Martin Orne. He diagnosed her with what is now described as bipolar disorder, but his competence to do so is called into question by his early use of allegedly unsound psychotherapeutic techniques. During sessions with Anne Sexton he used hypnosis and sodium pentothal to recover supposedly repressed memories. During this process, he allegedly used suggestion to uncover memories of inflicting childhood sexual abuse. This abuse was disputed in interviews with her mother and other relatives. Dr. Orne wrote that hypnosis in an adult frequently does not present accurate memories of childhood; instead, "adults under hypnosis are not literally reliving their early childhoods but presenting them through the prisms of adulthood." According to Dr. Orne, Anne Sexton was extremely suggestible and would mimic the symptoms of the patients around her in the mental hospitals to which she was committed. The Middlebrook biography states that a separate personality named Elizabeth emerged in Sexton while under hypnosis. Dr. Orne did not encourage this development and subsequently this "alternate personality" disappeared. Dr. Orne eventually concluded that Anne Sexton was suffering from hysteria. During the writing of the Middlebrook biography, Linda Gray Sexton stated that she had been sexually assaulted by her mother. In 1994, Linda Gray Sexton published her autobiography, Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton, which includes her own accounts of the abuse. Middlebrook published her controversial biography of Anne Sexton with the approval of Linda Gray Sexton, Anne's literary executor. For use in the biography, Dr. Orne had given Diane Middlebrook most of the tapes recording the therapy sessions between Orne and Anne Sexton. The use of these tapes was met with, as The New York Times put it, "thunderous condemnation." Middlebrook received the tapes after she had written a substantial amount of the first draft of Sexton's biography, and decided to start over. Although Linda Gray Sexton collaborated with the Middlebrook biography, other members of the Sexton family were divided over the book, publishing several editorials and op-ed pieces, in The New York Times and The New York Times Book Review. Controversy continued with the posthumous public release of the tapes (which had been subject to doctor-patient confidentiality). They are said to reveal Sexton's inappropriate behavior with her daughter Linda, her physically violent behavior toward both her daughters, and her physical altercations with her husband.[dead link] Yet more controversy surrounded allegations that Anne Sexton had an affair with the therapist who replaced Dr. Orne in the 1960s. No action was taken to censure or discipline the second therapist. Dr. Orne considered the affair with the second therapist (given the pseudonym "Ollie Zweizung" by Middlebrook and Linda Sexton) to be the catalyst that eventually resulted in her suicide. Poetry and Prose (collections and novels) * Uncompleted Novel-started in the 1960s * To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960) * The Starry Night (1961) * All My Pretty Ones (1962) * Live or Die (1966) - Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1967 * Love Poems (1969) * Mercy Street, a 2-act play performed at the American Place Theatre (1969) * Transformations (1971) ISBN 0-618-08343-X * The Book of Folly (1972) * The Death Notebooks (1974) * The Awful Rowing Toward God (1975; posthumous) * 45 Mercy Street (1976; posthumous) * Anne Sexton: A Self Portrait in Letters, edited by Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames (1977; posthumous) * Words for Dr. Y. (1978; posthumous) * No Evil Star: Selected Essays, Interviews and Prose, edited by Steven E. Colburn (1985; posthumous) Children's books * 1963 Eggs of Things (illustrated by Leonard Shortall) * 1964 More Eggs of Things (illustrated by Leonard Shortall) * 1974 Joey and the Birthday Present (illustrated by Evaline Ness) * 1975 The Wizard's Tears (illustrated by Evaline Ness) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Sexton

Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE, MC (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) was an English poet, author and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches, and satirised the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's view, were responsible for a vainglorious war. He later won acclaim for his prose work, notably his three-volume fictionalised autobiography, collectively known as the "Sherston Trilogy". Early life and education Siegfried Sassoon was born and grew up in the neo-gothic mansion named "Weirleigh" (after its builder, Harrison Weir), in Matfield, Kent, to a Jewish father and an Anglo-Catholic mother. His father, Alfred Ezra Sassoon (1861–1895), son of Sassoon David Sassoon, was a member of the wealthy Baghdadi Jewish Sassoon merchant family. For marrying outside the faith he was disinherited. His mother, Theresa, belonged to the Thornycroft family, sculptors responsible for many of the best-known statues in London—her brother was Sir Hamo Thornycroft. There was no German ancestry in Siegfried's family; his mother named him Siegfried because of her love of Wagner's operas. His middle name, Loraine, was the surname of a clergyman with whom she was friendly. Siegfried was the second of three sons, the others being Michael and Hamo. When he was four years old his parents separated. During his father's weekly visits to the boys, Theresa locked herself in the drawing room. In 1895 Alfred Sassoon died of tuberculosis. Sassoon was educated at The New Beacon Preparatory School, Sevenoaks, Kent; at Marlborough College, Marlborough, Wiltshire (where he was a member of Cotton House), and at Clare College, Cambridge, where from 1905 to 1907 he read history. He went down from Cambridge without a degree and spent the next few years hunting, playing cricket and writing verse: some he published privately. Since his father had been disinherited from the Sassoon fortune for marrying a non-Jew, Siegfried had only a small private fortune that allowed him to live modestly without having to earn a living (however, he would later be left a generous legacy by an aunt, Rachel Beer, allowing him to buy the great estate of Heytesbury House in Wiltshire.) His first published success, The Daffodil Murderer (1913), was a parody of John Masefield's The Everlasting Mercy. Robert Graves, in Good-Bye to All That describes it as a "parody of Masefield which, midway through, had forgotten to be a parody and turned into rather good Masefield." Sassoon expressed his opinions on the political situation before the onset of the First World War—"France was a lady, Russia was a bear, and performing in the county cricket team was much more important than either of them". Sassoon wanted to play for Kent County Cricket Club; Kent Captain Frank Marchant was a neighbour of Sassoon. Siegfried often turned out for Bluehouses at the Nevill Ground, where he sometimes played alongside Arthur Conan Doyle. He also played cricket for his house at Marlborough College, once taking 7 wickets for 18 runs. Although an enthusiast, Sassoon was not good enough to play for Kent, but he played cricket for Matfield, and later for the Downside Abbey team, continuing into his seventies. The Western Front: Military Cross Motivated by patriotism, Sassoon joined the British Army just as the threat of World War I was realised, and was in service with the Sussex Yeomanry on the day the United Kingdom declared war (4 August 1914). He broke his arm badly in a riding accident and was put out of action before even leaving England, spending the spring of 1915 convalescing. At around this time his younger brother Hamo was killed in the Gallipoli Campaign. (Rupert Brooke, whom Siegfried had briefly met, died on the way there.) Hamo's death hit Siegfried very hard. He was commissioned into 3rd Battalion (Special Reserve), Royal Welch Fusiliers as a second lieutenant on 29 May 1915, and in November was sent to the 1st Battalion in France. There he met Robert Graves and they became close friends. United by their poetic vocation, they often read and discussed one another's work. Though this did not have much perceptible influence on Graves's poetry, his views on what may be called 'gritty realism' profoundly affected Sassoon's concept of what constituted poetry. He soon became horrified by the realities of war, and the tone of his writing changed completely: where his early poems exhibit a Romantic, dilettantish sweetness, his war poetry moves to an increasingly discordant music, intended to convey the ugly truths of the trenches to an audience hitherto lulled by patriotic propaganda. Details such as rotting corpses, mangled limbs, filth, cowardice and suicide are all trademarks of his work at this time, and this philosophy of 'no truth unfitting' had a significant effect on the movement towards Modernist poetry. Sassoon's periods of duty on the Western Front were marked by exceptionally brave actions, including the single-handed, but vainglorious, capture of a German trench in the Hindenburg Line. Armed with grenades he scattered 60 German soldiers: He went over with bombs in daylight, under covering fire from a couple of rifles, and scared away the occupants. A pointless feat, since instead of signalling for reinforcements, he sat down in the German trench and began reading a book of poems which he had brought with him. When he went back he did not even report. Colonel Stockwell, then in command, raged at him. The attack on Mametz wood had been delayed for two hours because British patrols were still reported to be out. 'British patrols' were Siegfried and his book of poems. 'I'd have got you a D.S.O., if you'd only shown more sense,' stormed Stockwell. Sassoon's bravery was inspiring to the extent that soldiers of his company said that they felt confident only when they were accompanied by him. He often went out on night-raids and bombing patrols and demonstrated ruthless efficiency as a company commander. Deepening depression at the horror and misery the soldiers were forced to endure produced in Sassoon a paradoxically manic courage, and he was nicknamed "Mad Jack" by his men for his near-suicidal exploits. On 27 July 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross; the citation read: 2nd Lt. Siegfried Lorraine [sic] Sassoon, 3rd (attd. 1st) Bn., R. W. Fus. For conspicuous gallantry during a raid on the enemy's trenches. He remained for 1½ hours under rifle and bomb fire collecting and bringing in our wounded. Owing to his courage and determination all the killed and wounded were brought in. Robert Graves described Sassoon as engaging in suicidal feats of bravery. Sassoon was also later (unsuccessfully) recommended for the Victoria Cross. War opposition: Craiglockhart Despite his decoration and reputation, he decided in 1917 to make a stand against the conduct of the war. One of the reasons for his violent anti-war feeling was the death of his friend, David Cuthbert Thomas (called "Dick Tiltwood" in the Sherston trilogy). He would spend years trying to overcome his grief. At the end of a spell of convalescent leave, Sassoon declined to return to duty; instead, encouraged by pacifist friends such as Bertrand Russell and Lady Ottoline Morrell, he sent a letter to his commanding officer, titled Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration. Forwarded to the press and read out in Parliament by a sympathetic MP, the letter was seen by some as treasonous ("I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority") or at best condemnatory of the war government's motives ("I believe that the war upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of aggression and conquest"). Rather than court-martial Sassoon, the Under-Secretary of State for War, Ian Macpherson decided that he was unfit for service and had him sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh, where he was officially treated for neurasthenia ("shell shock"). Before declining to return to active service he had thrown the ribbon from his Military Cross into the river Mersey. The novel Regeneration, by Pat Barker, is a fictionalised account of this period in Sassoon's life, and was made into a film starring James Wilby as Sassoon and Jonathan Pryce as W. H. R. Rivers, the psychiatrist responsible for Sassoon's treatment. Rivers became a kind of surrogate father to the troubled young man, and his sudden death in 1922 was a major blow to Sassoon. At Craiglockhart, Sassoon met Wilfred Owen, a fellow poet who would eventually exceed him in fame. It was thanks to Sassoon that Owen persevered in his ambition to write better poetry. A manuscript copy of Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth containing Sassoon's handwritten amendments survives as testimony to the extent of his influence and is currently on display at London's Imperial War Museum. To all intents and purposes, Sassoon became to Owen "Keats and Christ and Elijah"; surviving documents demonstrate clearly the depth of Owen's love and admiration for him. Both men returned to active service in France, but Owen was killed in 1918. Sassoon, despite all this, was promoted to lieutenant, and having spent some time out of danger in Palestine, eventually returned to the Front. On 13 July 1918, Sassoon was almost immediately wounded again—by friendly fire after he was shot in the head by a fellow British soldier who had mistaken him for a German near Arras, France. As a result, he spent the remainder of the war in Britain. By this time he had been promoted acting captain. He relinquished his commission on health grounds on 12 March 1919, but was allowed to retain the rank of captain. After the war, Sassoon was instrumental in bringing Owen's work to the attention of a wider audience. Their friendship is the subject of Stephen MacDonald's play, Not About Heroes. Editor and novelist The war had brought Sassoon into contact with men from less advantaged backgrounds, and he had developed socialist sympathies. Having lived for a period at Oxford, where he spent more time visiting literary friends than studying, he dabbled briefly in the politics of the Labour movement, and in 1919 took up a post as literary editor of the socialist Daily Herald. He lived at 54 Tufton Street, Westminster from 1919 to 1925; the house is no longer standing, but the location of his former home is marked by a memorial plaque. During his period at the Herald, Sassoon was responsible for employing several eminent names as reviewers, including E. M. Forster and Charlotte Mew, and commissioned original material from "names" like Arnold Bennett and Osbert Sitwell. His artistic interests extended to music. While at Oxford he was introduced to the young William Walton, whose friend and patron he became. Walton later dedicated his Portsmouth Point overture to Sassoon in recognition of his financial assistance and moral support. Sassoon later embarked on a lecture tour of the USA, as well as travelling in Europe and throughout Britain. He acquired a car, a gift from the publisher Frankie Schuster, and became renowned among his friends for his lack of driving skill, but this did not prevent him making full use of the mobility it gave him. Sassoon was a great admirer of the Welsh poet Henry Vaughan. On a visit to Wales in 1923, he paid a pilgrimage to Vaughan's grave at Llansantffraed, Powys, and there wrote one of his best-known peacetime poems, At the Grave of Henry Vaughan. The deaths of three of his closest friends, Edmund Gosse, Thomas Hardy and Frankie Schuster (the publisher), within a short space of time, came as another serious setback to his personal happiness. At the same time, Sassoon was preparing to take a new direction. While in America, he had experimented with a novel. In 1928, he branched out into prose, with Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, the anonymously-published first volume of a fictionalised autobiography, which was almost immediately accepted as a classic, bringing its author new fame as a humorous writer. The book won the 1928 James Tait Black Award for fiction. Sassoon followed it with Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) and Sherston's Progress (1936). In later years, he revisited his youth and early manhood with three volumes of genuine autobiography, which were also widely acclaimed. These were The Old Century, The Weald of Youth and Siegfried's Journey. Personal life Sassoon, having matured greatly as a result of his military service, continued to seek emotional fulfilment, initially in a succession of love affairs with men, including the actor Ivor Novello; Novello's former lover, the actor Glen Byam Shaw; German aristocrat Prince Philipp of Hesse; the writer Beverley Nichols; and an effete aristocrat, the Hon. Stephen Tennant. Only the last of these made a permanent impression, though Shaw remained his close friend throughout his life. In September 1931, Sassoon rented and began to live at Fitz House, Teffont Magna, Wiltshire. In December 1933, to many people's surprise, he married Hester Gatty, who was many years his junior; this led to the birth of a child, something which he had long craved. This child, their only child, George (1936–2006) became a scientist, linguist and author, and was adored by Siegfried, who wrote several poems addressed to him. However, the marriage broke down after World War II, Sassoon apparently unable to find a compromise between the solitude he enjoyed and the companionship he craved. Separated from his wife in 1945, Sassoon lived in seclusion at Heytesbury in Wiltshire, although he maintained contact with a circle which included E. M. Forster and J. R. Ackerley. One of his closest friends was the young cricketer Dennis Silk. He formed a close friendship with Vivien Hancock, headmistress of Greenways School at Ashton Gifford, which his son George attended. The relationship provoked Hester to make some strong accusations against Vivien Hancock, who responded with the threat of legal action. Sassoon was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1951 New Year Honours. Towards the end of his life, he converted to Roman Catholicism. He had hoped that Ronald Knox, a Roman Catholic priest and writer whom he admired, would instruct him in the faith, but Knox was too ill to do so. The priest Sebastian Moore was chosen to instruct him instead, and Sassoon was admitted to the faith at Downside Abbey, close to his home. He also paid regular visits to the nuns at Stanbrook Abbey, and the abbey press printed commemorative editions of some of his poems. During this time he also became interested in the supernatural, and joined the Ghost Club. Siegfried Sassoon died one week before his 81st birthday, of stomach cancer, and is buried at St Andrew's Church, Mells, Somerset, close to Ronald Knox. Legacy On 11 November 1985, Sassoon was among sixteen Great War poets commemorated on a slate stone unveiled in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner. The inscription on the stone was written by friend and fellow War poet Wilfred Owen. It reads: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity." In 2003 saw the publication of Memorial Tablet, an authorised audio CD of readings by Sassoon recorded during the late 1950s. These included extracts from Memoirs of an Infantry Officer and The Weald of Youth, as well as several war poems including Attack, The Dug-Out, At Carnoy and Died of Wounds, and postwar works. The CD also included comment on Sassoon by three of his Great War contemporaries: Edmund Blunden, Edgell Rickword and Henry Williamson. Siegfried Sassoon's only child, George Sassoon, died of cancer in 2006. George had three children, two of whom were killed in a car crash in 1996. His daughter by his first marriage, Kendall Sassoon, is Patron-in-Chief of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship, and a Lady Associate Royal Welch Fusilier. In May 2007 Sassoon's Military Cross was put up for sale by his family. It was bought by the Royal Welch Fusiliers for display at their museum in Caernarfon. Sassoon's other service medals went unclaimed until 1985 when his son George obtained them from the Army Medal Office, then based at Droitwich. The 'late claim' medals consisting of the 1914-15 Star Victory Medal and British War Medal along with Sassoon's CBE and Warrant of Appointment were auctioned by Sotheby's in 2008. In June 2009, the University of Cambridge announced plans to purchase a valuable archive of Sassoon's papers from his family, to be added to the university library's existing Sassoon collection. On 4 November 2009 it was reported that this purchase would be supported by £550, from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, meaning that the University still needed to raise a further £110, on top of the money already received in order to meet the full £1. million asking price. The funds were successfully raised, and in December 2009 it was announced that the University had received the papers. Included in the collection are war diaries kept by Sassoon while he served on the Western Front and in Palestine, a draft of "A Soldier’s Declaration" (1917), notebooks from his schooldays, and post-war journals. Other items in the collection include love letters to his wife Hester, and photographs and letters from other writers. Sassoon was an undergraduate at the university, as well as being made an honorary fellow of Clare College, and the collection will be housed at the Cambridge University Library. As well as private individuals, funding came from the Monument Trust, the JP Getty Jr Trust, and Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement. In 2010, Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War, a major exhibition of Sassoon's life and archive, was held at Cambridge University. Several of Sassoon's poems have been set to music, some during his lifetime, notably by Cyril Rootham. Poetry collections The Daffodil Murderer (John Richmond: 1913) The Old Huntsman (Heinemann: 1917) The General (Denmark Hill Hospital, April 1917) Does it Matter? (written: 1917) Counter-Attack and Other Poems (Heinemann: 1918) The Hero [Henry Holt, 1918] Picture-Show (Heinemann: 1919) War Poems (Heinemann: 1919) Aftermath (Heinemann: 1920) Recreations (privately printed: 1923) Lingual Exercises for Advanced Vocabularians (privately printed: 1925) Selected Poems (Heinemann: 1925) Satirical Poems (Heinemann: 1926) The Heart's Journey (Heinemann: 1928) Poems by Pinchbeck Lyre (Duckworth: 1931) The Road to Ruin (Faber and Faber: 1933) Vigils (Heinemann: 1935) Rhymed Ruminations (Faber and Faber: 1940) Poems Newly Selected (Faber and Faber: 1940) Collected Poems (Faber and Faber: 1947) Common Chords (privately printed: 1950/1951) Emblems of Experience (privately printed: 1951) The Tasking (privately printed: 1954) Sequences (Faber and Faber: 1956) Lenten Illuminations (Downside Abbey: 1959) The Path to Peace (Stanbrook Abbey Press: 1960) Collected Poems 1908-1956 (Faber and Faber: 1961) The War Poems ed. Rupert Hart-Davis (Faber and Faber: 1983) Prose Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (Faber & Gwyer: 1928) Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (Faber and Faber: 1930) Sherston's Progress (Faber and Faber: 1936) Complete Memoirs of George Sherston (Faber and Faber: 1937) The Old Century and seven more years (Faber and Faber: 1938) On Poetry (University of Bristol Press: 1939) The Weald of Youth (Faber and Faber: 1942) Siegfried's Journey (Faber and Faber: 1946) Meredith (Constable: 1948) - Biography of George Meredith References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siegfried_Sassoon

Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552 – 13 January 1599) was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and is considered one of the greatest poets in the English language. Edmund Spenser was born in East Smithfield, London, around the year 1552, though there is some ambiguity as to the exact date of his birth. As a young boy, he was educated in London at the Merchant Taylors' School and matriculated as a sizar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he became a friend of Gabriel Harvey and later consulted him, despite their differing views on poetry. In 1578 he became for a short time secretary to John Young, Bishop of Rochester. In 1579 he published The Shepheardes Calender and around the same time married his first wife, Machabyas Childe. In July 1580 Spenser went to Ireland in service of the newly appointed Lord Deputy, Arthur Grey, 14th Baron Grey de Wilton. When Grey was recalled to England, he stayed on in Ireland, having acquired other official posts and lands in the Munster Plantation. At some time between 1587 and 1589 he acquired his main estate at Kilcolman, near Doneraile in North Cork. Among his acquaintances in the area was Walter Raleigh, a fellow colonist. He later bought a second holding to the south, at Rennie, on a rock overlooking the river Blackwater in North Cork. Its ruins are still visible today. A short distance away grew a tree, locally known as "Spenser's Oak" until it was destroyed in a lightning strike in the 1960s. Local legend has it that he penned some of The Faerie Queene under this tree. In 1590 Spenser brought out the first three books of his most famous work, The Faerie Queene, having travelled to London to publish and promote the work, with the likely assistance of Raleigh. He was successful enough to obtain a life pension of £50 a year from the Queen. He probably hoped to secure a place at court through his poetry, but his next significant publication boldly antagonised the queen's principal secretary, Lord Burghley, through its inclusion of the satirical Mother Hubberd's Tale. He returned to Ireland. By 1594 Spenser's first wife had died, and in that year he married Elizabeth Boyle, to whom he addressed the sonnet sequence Amoretti. The marriage itself was celebrated in Epithalamion. In 1596 Spenser wrote a prose pamphlet titled, A View of the Present State of Ireland. This piece, in the form of a dialogue, circulated in manuscript, remaining unpublished until the mid-seventeenth century. It is probable that it was kept out of print during the author's lifetime because of its inflammatory content. The pamphlet argued that Ireland would never be totally 'pacified' by the English until its indigenous language and customs had been destroyed, if necessary by violence. Later on, during the Nine Years War in 1598, Spenser was driven from his home by the native Irish forces of Aodh Ó Néill. His castle at Kilcolman was burned, and Ben Jonson (who may have had private information) asserted that one of his infant children died in the blaze. In the year after being driven from his home, Spenser travelled to London, where he died aged forty-six. His coffin was carried to his grave in Westminster Abbey by other poets, who threw many pens and pieces of poetry into his grave with many tears. His second wife survived him and remarried twice. Rhyme and reason Thomas Fuller included in his Worthies of England a story that The Queen told her treasurer, William Cecil, to pay Spenser one hundred pounds for his poetry. The treasurer, however, objected that the sum was too much. She said, "Then give him what is reason". After a long while without receiving his payment, Spenser gave the Queen this quatrain on one of her progresses: I was promis'd on a time, To have a reason for my rhyme: From that time unto this season, I receiv'd nor rhyme nor reason. She immediately ordered the treasurer pay Spenser the original £100. This story seems to have attached itself to Spenser from Thomas Churchyard, who apparently had difficulty in getting payment of his pension (the only other one Elizabeth awarded to a poet). Spenser seems to have had no difficulty in receiving payment when it was due, the pension being collected for him by his publisher, Ponsonby. The Faerie Queene Spenser's masterpiece is the epic poem The Faerie Queene. The first three books of The Faerie Queene were published in 1590, and a second set of three books were published in 1596. Spenser originally indicated that he intended the poem to consist of twelve books, so the version of the poem we have today is incomplete. Despite this, it remains one of the longest poems in the English language. It is an allegorical work, and can be read (as Spenser presumably intended) on several levels of allegory, including as praise of Queen Elizabeth I. In a completely allegorical context, the poem follows several knights in an examination of several virtues. In Spenser's "A Letter of the Authors," he states that the entire epic poem is "cloudily enwrapped in allegorical devises," and that the aim behind The Faerie Queene was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.” Shorter poems Spenser published numerous relatively short poems in the last decade of the sixteenth century, almost all of which consider love or sorrow. In 1591 he published Complaints, a collection of poems that express complaints in mournful or mocking tones. Four years later, in 1595, Spenser published Amoretti and Epithalamion. This volume contains eighty-nine sonnets commemorating his courtship of Elizabeth Boyle. In “Amoretti,” Spenser uses subtle humour and parody while praising his beloved, reworking Petrarchism in his treatment of longing for a woman. “Epithalamion,” similar to “Amoretti,” deals in part with the unease in the development of a romantic and sexual relationship. It was written for his wedding to his young bride, Elizabeth Boyle. The poem consists of 365 long lines, corresponding to the days of the year; 68 short lines, claimed to represent the sum of the 52 weeks, 12 months, and 4 seasons of the annual cycle; and 24 stanzas, corresponding to the diurnal and sidereal hours.[citation needed] Some have speculated that the attention to disquiet in general reflects Spenser’s personal anxieties at the time, as he was unable to complete his most significant work, The Faerie Queene. In the following year Spenser released "Prothalamion," a wedding song written for the daughters of a duke, allegedly in hopes to gain favor in the court. The Spenserian stanza and sonnet Spenser used a distinctive verse form, called the Spenserian stanza, in several works, including The Faerie Queene. The stanza's main meter is iambic pentameter with a final line in iambic hexameter (having six feet or stresses, known as an Alexandrine), and the rhyme scheme is ababbcbcc. He also used his own rhyme scheme for the sonnet. Influences and influenced Though Spenser was well read in classical literature, scholars have noted that his poetry does not rehash tradition, but rather is distinctly his. This individuality may have resulted, to some extent, from a lack of comprehension of the classics. Spenser strove to emulate such ancient Roman poets as Virgil and Ovid, whom he studied during his schooling, but many of his best-known works are notably divergent from those of his predecessors.[15] The language of his poetry is purposely archaic, reminiscent of earlier works such as The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer and Il Canzoniere of Francesco Petrarca, whom Spenser greatly admired. Spenser was called a Poets' Poet and was admired by William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Byron, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, among others. Walter Raleigh wrote a dedicatory sonnet to The Faerie Queene in 1590, in which he claims to admire and value Spenser’s work more so than any other in the English language. In the eighteenth century, Alexander Pope compared Spenser to “a mistress, whose faults we see, but love her with them all." A View of the Present State of Ireland n his work A View of the present State of Ireland, Spenser devises his ideas to the issues of the nation of Ireland. These views are suspected to not be his own but based on the work of his predecessor, Lord Arthur Grey de Wilton who was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1580 (Henley 19, 168-69). Lord Grey was a major figure in Ireland at the time and Spenser was influenced greatly by his ideals and his work in the country, as well as that of his fellow countrymen also living in Ireland at the time (Henley 169). The goal of this piece was to show that Ireland was in great need of reform. Spenser believed that “Ireland is a diseased portion of the State, it must first be cured and reformed, before it could be in a position to appreciate the good sound laws and blessings of the nation” (Henley 178). In A View of the present State of Ireland, Spenser categorizes the “evils” of the Irish people into three prominent categories: laws, customs, and religion (Spenser). These three elements work together in creating the disruptive and degraded people. One example given in the work is the native law system called “Brehon Law” which trumps the established law given by the English monarchy (Spenser). This system has its own court and way of dealing with infractions. It has been passed down through the generations and Spenser views this system as a native backward custom which must be destroyed. Spenser also recommended scorched earth tactics, such as he had seen used in the Desmond Rebellions, to create famine. Although it has been highly regarded as a polemical piece of prose and valued as a historical source on 16th century Ireland, the View is seen today as genocidal in intent. Spenser did express some praise for the Gaelic poetic tradition, but also used much tendentious and bogus analysis to demonstrate that the Irish were descended from barbarian Scythian stock. References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Spenser

Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1879. He attended Harvard University as an undergraduate from 1897 to 1900. He planned to travel to Paris as a writer, but after a working briefly as a reporter for the New York Herald Times, he decided to study law. He graduated with a degree from New York Law School in 1903 and was admitted to the U.S. Bar in 1904. He practised law in New York City until 1916. Though he had serious determination to become a successful lawyer, Stevens had several friends among the New York writers and painters in Greenwich Village, including the poets William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and E. E. Cummings. In 1914, under the pseudonym "Peter Parasol," he sent a group of poems under the title "Phases" to Harriet Monroe for a war poem competition for Poetry magazine. Stevens did not win the prize, but was published by Monroe in November of that year. Stevens moved to Connecticut in 1916, having found employment at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., of which he became vice president in 1934. He had began to establish an identity for himself outside the world of law and business, however, and his first book of poems, Harmonium, published in 1923, exhibited the influence of both the English Romantics and the French symbolists, an inclination to aesthetic philosophy, and a wholly original style and sensibility: exotic, whimsical, infused with the light and color of an Impressionist painting. For the next several years, Stevens focused on his business life. He began to publish new poems in 1930, however, and in the following year, Knopf published an second edition of Harmonium, which included fourteen new poems and left out three of the decidedly weaker ones. More than any other modern poet, Stevens was concerned with the transformative power of the imagination. Composing poems on his way to and from the office and in the evenings, Stevens continued to spend his days behind a desk at the office, and led a quiet, uneventful life. Though now considered one of the major American poets of the century, he did not receive widespread recognition until the publication of his Collected Poems, just a year before his death. His major works include Ideas of Order (1935), The Man With the Blue Guitar (1937), Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction (1942), and a collection of essays on poetry, The Necessary Angel (1951). Stevens died in Hartford in 1955. Poetry Harmonium (1923) Ideas of Order (1935) Owl's Clover (1936) The Man With the Blue Guitar (1937) Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction (1942) Parts of a World (1942) Esthétique du Mal (1945) Three Academic Pieces (1947) Transport to Summer (1947) Primitive Like an Orb (1948) Auroras of Autumn (1950) Collected Poems (1954) Opus Posthumous (1957) The Palm at the End of the Mind (1967) Prose The Necessary Angel (1951) Plays Three Travellers Watch the Sunrise (1916) Carlos Among the Candles (1917) References Poets.org — http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/124

Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, FRSE (15 August 1771– 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. Scott’s novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor. Although primarily remembered for his extensive literary works and his political engagement, Scott was an advocate, judge and legal administrator by profession, and throughout his career combined his writing and editing work with his daily occupation as Clerk of Session and Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire. A prominent member of the Tory establishment in Edinburgh, Scott was an active member of the Highland Society and served a long term as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1820–32). Biography Early days The son of a Writer to the Signet (solicitor), Scott was born in 1771 in his Presbyterian family’s third-floor flat on College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh, a narrow alleyway leading from the Grassmarket to the gates of the old University of Edinburgh. He survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that left him lame, a condition that was to have a significant effect on his life and writing. To cure his lameness he was sent in 1773 to live in the rural Scottish Borders at his paternal grandparents’ farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home. Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, and learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends that characterised much of his work. In January 1775 he returned to Edinburgh, and that summer went with his aunt Jenny to take spa treatment at Bath in England, where they lived at 6 South Parade. In the winter of 1776 he went back to Sandyknowe, with another attempt at a water cure at Prestonpans during the following summer. In 1778, Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school, and joined his family in their new house built as one of the first in George Square. In October 1779 he began at the Royal High School of Edinburgh. He was now well able to walk and explore the city and the surrounding countryside. His reading included chivalric romances, poems, history and travel books. He was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, and learned from him the history of the Church of Scotland with emphasis on the Covenanters. After finishing school he was sent to stay for six months with his aunt Jenny in Kelso, attending the local grammar school where he met James and John Ballantyne, who later became his business partners and printed his books. Scott’s meeting with Blacklock and Burns Scott began studying classics at the University of Edinburgh in November 1783, at the age of 12, a year or so younger than most of his fellow students. In March 1786 he began an apprenticeship in his father’s office to become a Writer to the Signet. While at the university Scott had become a friend of Adam Ferguson, the son of Professor Adam Ferguson who hosted literary salons. Scott met the blind poet Thomas Blacklock, who lent him books and introduced him to James Macpherson’s Ossian cycle of poems. During the winter of 1786–87 the 15-year-old Scott saw Robert Burns at one of these salons, for what was to be their only meeting. When Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem “The Justice of the Peace” and asked who had written the poem, only Scott knew that it was by John Langhorne, and was thanked by Burns. When it was decided that he would become a lawyer, he returned to the university to study law, first taking classes in Moral Philosophy and Universal History in 1789–90. After completing his studies in law, he became a lawyer in Edinburgh. As a lawyer’s clerk he made his first visit to the Scottish Highlands directing an eviction. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1792. He had an unsuccessful love suit with Williamina Belsches of Fettercairn, who married Scott’s friend Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet. Start of literary career As a boy, youth and young man, Scott was fascinated by the oral traditions of the Scottish Borders. He was an obsessive collector of stories, and developed an innovative method of recording what he heard at the feet of local story-tellers using carvings on twigs, to avoid the disapproval of those who believed that such stories were neither for writing down nor for printing. At the age of 25 he began to write professionally, translating works from German, his first publication being rhymed versions of ballads by Gottfried August Bürger in 1796. He then published an idiosyncratic three-volume set of collected ballads of his adopted home region, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. This was the first sign from a literary standpoint of his interest in Scottish history. As a result of his early polio infection, Scott had a pronounced limp. He was described in 1820 as tall, well formed (except for one ankle and foot which made him walk lamely), neither fat nor thin, with forehead very high, nose short, upper lip long and face rather fleshy, complexion fresh and clear, eyes very blue, shrewd and penetrating, with hair now silvery white. Although a determined walker, on horseback he experienced greater freedom of movement. Unable to consider a military career, Scott enlisted as a volunteer in the 1st Lothian and Border yeomanry. Marriage and family On a trip to the Lake District with old college friends he met Charlotte Genevieve Charpentier (or Carpenter), daughter of Jean Charpentier of Lyon in France, and ward of Lord Downshire in Cumberland, an Episcopalian. After three weeks of courtship, Scott proposed and they were married on Christmas Eve 1797 in St Mary’s Church, Carlisle (a church set up in the now destroyed nave of Carlisle Cathedral). After renting a house in George Street, they moved to nearby South Castle Street. They had five children, of whom four survived by the time of Scott’s death, most baptized by an Episcopalian clergyman. In 1799 he was appointed Sheriff-Depute of the County of Selkirk, based in the Royal Burgh of Selkirk. In his early married days Scott had a decent living from his earnings at the law, his salary as Sheriff-Depute, his wife’s income, some revenue from his writing, and his share of his father’s rather meagre estate. After their third son was born in 1801, they moved to a spacious three-storey house built for Scott at 39 North Castle Street. This remained Scott’s base in Edinburgh until 1826, when he could no longer afford two homes. From 1798 Scott had spent the summers in a cottage at Lasswade, where he entertained guests including literary figures, and it was there that his career as an author began. There were nominal residency requirements for his position of Sheriff-Depute, and at first he stayed at a local inn during the circuit. In 1804 he ended his use of the Lasswade cottage and leased the substantial house of Ashestiel, 6 miles (9.7 km) from Selkirk. It was sited on the south bank of the River Tweed, and the building incorporated an old tower house. Scott’s father, also Walter (1729–1799), was a Freemason, being a member of Lodge St David, No.36 (Edinburgh), and Scott also became a Freemason in his father’s Lodge in 1801, albeit only after the death of his father. Poetry In 1796, Scott’s friend James Ballantyne founded a printing press in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. Through Ballantyne, Scott was able to publish his first works, including “Glenfinlas” and “The Eve of St. John”, and his poetry then began to bring him to public attention. In 1805, The Lay of the Last Minstrel captured wide public imagination, and his career as a writer was established in spectacular fashion. He published many other poems over the next ten years, including the popular The Lady of the Lake, printed in 1810 and set in the Trossachs. Portions of the German translation of this work were set to music by Franz Schubert. One of these songs, “Ellens dritter Gesang”, is popularly labelled as “Schubert’s Ave Maria”. Marmion, published in 1808, produced lines that have become proverbial. Canto VI. Stanza 17 reads: Yet Clare's sharp questions must I shun Must separate Constance from the nun Oh! what a tangled web we weave When first we practise to deceive! A Palmer too! No wonder why I felt rebuked beneath his eye. In 1809 Scott persuaded James Ballantyne and his brother to move to Edinburgh and to establish their printing press there. He became a partner in their business. As a political conservative and advocate of the Union with England, Scott helped to found the Tory Quarterly Review, a review journal to which he made several anonymous contributions. Scott was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Duddington and sat in the General Assembly for a time as representative elder of the burgh of Selkirk. When the lease of Ashestiel expired in 1811 Scott bought Cartley Hole Farm, on the south bank of the River Tweed nearer Melrose. The farm had the nickname of “Clarty Hole”, and when Scott built a family cottage there in 1812 he named it “Abbotsford”. He continued to expand the estate, and built Abbotsford House in a series of extensions. In 1813 Scott was offered the position of Poet Laureate. He declined, and the position went to Robert Southey. Novels Although Scott had attained world-wide celebrity through his poetry, he soon tried his hand at documenting his researches into the oral tradition of the Scottish Borders in prose fiction—stories and novels—at the time still considered aesthetically inferior to poetry (above all to such classical genres as the epic or poetic tragedy) as a mimetic vehicle for portraying historical events. In an innovative and astute action, he wrote and published his first novel, Waverley, anonymously in 1814. It was a tale of the Jacobite rising of 1745. Its English protagonist, Edward Waverley, like Don Quixote a great reader of romances, has been brought up by his Tory uncle, who is sympathetic to Jacobitism, although Edward’s own father is a Whig. The youthful Waverley obtains a commission in the Whig army and is posted in Dundee. On leave, he meets his uncle’s friend, the Jacobite Baron Bradwardine and is attracted to the Baron’s daughter Rose. On a visit to the Highlands, Edward overstays his leave and is arrested and charged with desertion but is rescued by the Highland chieftain Fergus MacIvor and his mesmerizing sister Flora, whose devotion to the Stuart cause, “as it exceeded her brother’s in fanaticism, excelled it also in purity”. Through Flora, Waverley meets Bonnie Prince Charlie, and under her influence goes over to the Jacobite side and takes part in the Battle of Prestonpans. He escapes retribution, however, after saving the life of a Whig colonel during the battle. Waverley (whose surname name reflects his divided loyalties) eventually decides to lead a peaceful life of establishment respectability under the House of Hanover rather than live as a proscribed rebel. He chooses to marry the beautiful Rose Bradwardine, rather than cast his lot with the sublime Flora MacIvor, who, after the failure of the '45 rising, retires to a French convent. There followed a succession of novels over the next five years, each with a Scottish historical setting. Mindful of his reputation as a poet, Scott maintained the anonymity he had begun with Waverley, publishing the novels under the name “Author of Waverley” or as “Tales of...” with no author. Among those familiar with his poetry, his identity became an open secret, but Scott persisted in maintaining the façade, perhaps because he thought his old-fashioned father would disapprove of his engaging in such a trivial pursuit as novel writing. During this time Scott became known by the nickname “The Wizard of the North”. In 1815 he was given the honour of dining with George, Prince Regent, who wanted to meet the “Author of Waverley”. Scott’s 1819 series Tales of my Landlord is sometimes considered a subset of the Waverley novels and was intended to illustrate aspects of Scottish regional life. Among the best known is The Bride of Lammermoor, a fictionalized version of an actual incident in the history of the Dalrymple family that took place in the Lammermuir Hills in 1669. In the novel, Lucie Ashton and the nobly born but now dispossessed and impoverished Edgar Ravenswood exchange vows. But the Ravenswoods and the wealthy Ashtons, who now own the former Ravenswood lands, are enemies, and Lucie’s mother forces her daughter to break her engagement to Edgar and marry the wealthy Sir Arthur Bucklaw. Lucie falls into a depression and on their wedding night stabs the bridegroom, succumbs to insanity, and dies. In 1821, French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix painted a portrait depicting himself as the melancholy, disinherited Edgar Ravenswood. The prolonged, climactic coloratura mad scene for Lucia in Donizetti’s 1835 bel canto opera Lucia di Lammermoor is based on what in the novel were just a few bland sentences. Tales of my Landlord includes the now highly regarded novel Old Mortality, set in 1679–89 against the backdrop of the ferocious anti-Covenanting campaign of the Tory Graham of Claverhouse, subsequently made Viscount Dundee (called “Bluidy Clavers” by his opponents but later dubbed “Bonnie Dundee” by Scott). The Covenanters were presbyterians who had supported the Restoration of Charles II on promises of a Presbyterian settlement, but he had instead reintroduced Episcopalian church government with draconian penalties for Presbyterian worship. This led to the destitution of around 270 ministers who had refused to take an oath of allegiance and submit themselves to bishops, and who continued to conduct worship among a remnant of their flock in caves and other remote country spots. The relentless persecution of these conventicles and attempts to break them up by military force had led to open revolt. The story is told from the point of view of Henry Morton, a moderate Presbyterian, who is unwittingly drawn into the conflict and barely escapes summary execution. In writing Old Mortality Scott drew upon the knowledge he had acquired from his researches into ballads on the subject for The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Scott’s background as a lawyer also informed his perspective, for at the time of the novel, which takes place before the Act of Union of 1707, English law did not apply in Scotland, and afterwards Scotland has continued to have its own Scots law as a hybrid legal system. A recent critic, who is a legal as well as a literary scholar, argues that Old Mortality not only reflects the dispute between Stuart’s absolute monarchy and the jurisdiction of the courts, but also invokes a foundational moment in British sovereignty, namely, the Habeas Corpus Act (also known as the Great Writ), passed by the English Parliament in 1679. Oblique reference to the origin of Habeas corpus underlies Scott’s next novel, Ivanhoe, set during the era of the creation of the Magna Carta, which political conservatives like Walter Scott and Edmund Burke regarded as rooted in immemorial British custom and precedent. Ivanhoe (1819), set in 12th-century England, marked a move away from Scott’s focus on the local history of Scotland. Based partly on Hume’s History of England and the ballad cycle of Robin Hood, Ivanhoe was quickly translated into many languages and inspired countless imitations and theatrical adaptations. Ivanhoe depicts the cruel tyranny of the Norman overlords (Norman Yoke) over the impoverished Saxon populace of England, with two of the main characters, Rowena and Locksley (Robin Hood), representing the dispossessed Saxon aristocracy. When the protagonists are captured and imprisoned by a Norman baron, Scott interrupts the story to exclaim: It is grievous to think that those valiant barons, to whose stand against the crown the liberties of England were indebted for their existence, should themselves have been such dreadful oppressors, and capable of excesses contrary not only to the laws of England, but to those of nature and humanity. But, alas ...fiction itself can hardly reach the dark reality of the horrors of the period. (Chapter 24.33) The institution of the Magna Carta, which happens outside the time frame of the story, is portrayed as a progressive (incremental) reform, but also as a step towards the recovery of a lost golden age of liberty endemic to England and the English system. Scott puts a derisive prophecy in the mouth of the jester Wamba: Norman saw on English oak. On English neck a Norman yoke; Norman spoon to English dish, And England ruled as Normans wish; Blithe world in England never will be more, Till England's rid of all the four. (Ivanhoe, Ch. xxvii) Although on the surface an entertaining escapist romance, alert contemporary readers would have quickly recognised the political subtext of Ivanhoe, which appeared immediately after the English Parliament, fearful of French-style revolution in the aftermath of Waterloo, had passed the Habeas Corpus Suspension acts of 1817 and 1818 and other extremely repressive measures, and when traditional English Charter rights versus revolutionary human rights was a topic of discussion. Ivanhoe was also remarkable in its sympathetic portrayal of Jewish characters: Rebecca, considered by many critics the book’s real heroine, does not in the end get to marry Ivanhoe, whom she loves, but Scott allows her to remain faithful to her own religion, rather than having her convert to Christianity. Likewise, her father, Isaac of York, a Jewish moneylender, is shown as a victim rather than a villain. In Ivanhoe, which is one of Scott’s Waverley novels, religious and sectarian fanatics are the villains, while the eponymous hero is a bystander who must weigh the evidence and decide where to take a stand. Scott’s positive portrayal of Judaism, which reflects his humanity and concern for religious toleration, also coincided with a contemporary movement for the Emancipation of the Jews in England. Recovery of the Crown Jewels, baronetcy and ceremonial pageantry Scott’s fame grew as his explorations and interpretations of Scottish history and society captured popular imagination. Impressed by this, the Prince Regent (the future George IV) gave Scott permission to search for the fabled but long-lost Crown Jewels ("Honours of Scotland"), which during the years of the Protectorate under Cromwell had been hidden away and had last been used to crown Charles II. In 1818, Scott and a small team of military men unearthed the honours from the depths of Edinburgh Castle. A grateful Prince Regent granted Scott the title of baronet, and in March 1820 he received the baronetcy in London, becoming Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet. After George’s accession to the throne, the city council of Edinburgh invited Scott, at the King’s behest, to stage-manage the 1822 visit of King George IV to Scotland. With only three weeks for planning and execution, Scott created a spectacular and comprehensive pageant, designed not only to impress the King, but also in some way to heal the rifts that had destabilised Scots society. He used the event to contribute to the drawing of a line under an old world that pitched his homeland into regular bouts of bloody strife. He, along with his “production team”, mounted what in modern days could be termed a PR event, in which the King was dressed in tartan, and was greeted by his people, many of whom were also dressed in similar tartan ceremonial dress. This form of dress, proscribed after the 1745 rebellion against the English, became one of the seminal, potent and ubiquitous symbols of Scottish identity. In his novel Kenilworth, Elizabeth I is welcomed to the castle of that name by means of an elaborate pageant, the details of which Scott was well qualified to itemize. Much of Scott’s autograph work shows an almost stream-of-consciousness approach to writing. He included little in the way of punctuation in his drafts, leaving such details to the printers to supply. He eventually acknowledged in 1827 that he was the author of the Waverley Novels. Financial problems and death In 1825 a UK-wide banking crisis resulted in the collapse of the Ballantyne printing business, of which Scott was the only partner with a financial interest; the company’s debts of £130,000 (equivalent to £9,600,000 in 2015) caused his very public ruin. Rather than declare himself bankrupt, or to accept any kind of financial support from his many supporters and admirers (including the king himself), he placed his house and income in a trust belonging to his creditors, and determined to write his way out of debt. He kept up his prodigious output of fiction, as well as producing a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, until 1831. By then his health was failing, but he nevertheless undertook a grand tour of Europe, and was welcomed and celebrated wherever he went. He returned to Scotland and, in September 1832, died (in unexplained circumstances) at Abbotsford, the home he had designed and had built, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders. (His wife, Lady Scott, had died in 1826 and was buried as an Episcopalian.) Two Presbyterian ministers and one Episcopalian officiated at his funeral. Scott died owing money, but his novels continued to sell, and the debts encumbering his estate were discharged shortly after his death. Family Scott’s eldest son Lt Walter Scott, inherited his father’s estate and possessions. He married Jane Jobson, only daughter of William Jobson of Lochore (died 1822) and his wife Rachel Stuart (died 1863) on 3 February 1825. Business Associates Scott’s lawyer from at least 1814 was Hay Donaldson WS (died 1822), who was also agent to the Duke of Buccleuch. Scott was Donaldson’s proposer when he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Abbotsford When Scott was a boy, he sometimes travelled with his father from Selkirk to Melrose, where some of his novels are set. At a certain spot the old gentleman would stop the carriage and take his son to a stone on the site of the Battle of Melrose (1526). During the summers from 1804, Scott made his home at the large house of Ashestiel, on the south bank of the River Tweed 6 miles (9.7 km) north of Selkirk. When his lease on this property expired in 1811, Scott bought Cartley Hole Farm, downstream on the Tweed nearer Melrose. The farm had the nickname of “Clarty Hole”, and when Scott built a family cottage there in 1812 he named it “Abbotsford”. He continued to expand the estate, and built Abbotsford House in a series of extensions. The farmhouse developed into a wonderful home that has been likened to a fairy palace. Scott was a pioneer of the Scottish Baronial style of architecture, therefore Abbotsford is festooned with turrets and stepped gabling. Through windows enriched with the insignia of heraldry the sun shone on suits of armour, trophies of the chase, a library of more than 9,000 volumes, fine furniture, and still finer pictures. Panelling of oak and cedar and carved ceilings relieved by coats of arms in their correct colours added to the beauty of the house. It is estimated that the building cost Scott more than £25,000 (equivalent to £1,900,000 in 2015). More land was purchased until Scott owned nearly 1,000 acres (4.0 km2). A Roman road with a ford near Melrose used in olden days by the abbots of Melrose suggested the name of Abbotsford. Scott was buried in Dryburgh Abbey, where his wife had earlier been interred. Nearby is a large statue of William Wallace, one of Scotland’s many romanticised historical figures. Abbotsford later gave its name to the Abbotsford Club, founded in 1834 in memory of Sir Walter Scott. Legacy Later assessment Although he continued to be extremely popular and widely read, both at home and abroad, Scott’s critical reputation declined in the last half of the 19th century as serious writers turned from romanticism to realism, and Scott began to be regarded as an author suitable for children. This trend accelerated in the 20th century. For example, in his classic study Aspects of the Novel (1927), E. M. Forster harshly criticized Scott’s clumsy and slapdash writing style, “flat” characters, and thin plots. In contrast, the novels of Scott’s contemporary Jane Austen, once appreciated only by the discerning few (including, as it happened, Sir Walter Scott himself) rose steadily in critical esteem, though Austen, as a female writer, was still faulted for her narrow ("feminine") choice of subject matter, which, unlike Scott, avoided the grand historical themes traditionally viewed as masculine. Nevertheless, Scott’s importance as an innovator continued to be recognized. He was acclaimed as the inventor of the genre of the modern historical novel (which others trace to Jane Porter, whose work in the genre predates Scott’s) and the inspiration for enormous numbers of imitators and genre writers both in Britain and on the European continent. In the cultural sphere, Scott’s Waverley novels played a significant part in the movement (begun with James Macpherson’s Ossian cycle) in rehabilitating the public perception of the Scottish Highlands and its culture, which had been formally suppressed as barbaric, and viewed in the southern mind as a breeding ground of hill bandits, religious fanaticism, and Jacobite rebellions. Scott served as chairman of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was also a member of the Royal Celtic Society. His own contribution to the reinvention of Scottish culture was enormous, even though his re-creations of the customs of the Highlands were fanciful at times, despite his extensive travels around his native country. It is a testament to Scott’s contribution in creating a unified identity for Scotland that Edinburgh’s central railway station, opened in 1854 by the North British Railway, is called Waverley. The fact that Scott was a Lowland Presbyterian, rather than a Gaelic-speaking Catholic Highlander, made him more acceptable to a conservative English reading public. Scott’s novels were certainly influential in the making of the Victorian craze for all things Scottish among British royalty, who were anxious to claim legitimacy through their rather attenuated historical connection with the royal house of Stuart. At the time Scott wrote, Scotland was poised to move away from an era of socially divisive clan warfare to a modern world of literacy and industrial capitalism. Through the medium of Scott’s novels, the violent religious and political conflicts of the country’s recent past could be seen as belonging to history—which Scott defined, as the subtitle of Waverley ("'Tis Sixty Years Since") indicates, as something that happened at least 60 years ago. Scott’s advocacy of objectivity and moderation and his strong repudiation of political violence on either side also had a strong, though unspoken, contemporary resonance in an era when many conservative English speakers lived in mortal fear of a revolution in the French style on British soil. Scott’s orchestration of King George IV’s visit to Scotland, in 1822, was a pivotal event intended to inspire a view of his home country that, in his view, accentuated the positive aspects of the past while allowing the age of quasi-medieval blood-letting to be put to rest, while envisioning a more useful, peaceful future. After Scott’s work had been essentially unstudied for many decades, a small revival of critical interest began in the 1970s and 1980s. Postmodern tastes favoured discontinuous narratives and the introduction of the “first person”, yet they were more favourable to Scott’s work than Modernist tastes. F. R. Leavis had disdained Scott, seeing him as a thoroughly bad novelist and a thoroughly bad influence (The Great Tradition [1948]); Marilyn Butler, however, offered a political reading of the fiction of the period that found a great deal of genuine interest in his work (Romantics, Revolutionaries, and Reactionaries [1981]). Scott is now seen as an important innovator and a key figure in the development of Scottish and world literature. Memorials and commemoration During his lifetime, Scott’s portrait was painted by Sir Edwin Landseer and fellow-Scots Sir Henry Raeburn and James Eckford Lauder. In Edinburgh, the 61.1-metre-tall Victorian Gothic spire of the Scott Monument was designed by George Meikle Kemp. It was completed in 1844, 12 years after Scott’s death, and dominates the south side of Princes Street. Scott is also commemorated on a stone slab in Makars’ Court, outside The Writers’ Museum, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, along with other prominent Scottish writers; quotes from his work are also visible on the Canongate Wall of the Scottish Parliament building in Holyrood. There is a tower dedicated to his memory on Corstorphine Hill in the west of the city and, as mentioned, Edinburgh’s Waverley railway station takes its name from one of his novels. In Glasgow, Walter Scott’s Monument dominates the centre of George Square, the main public square in the city. Designed by David Rhind in 1838, the monument features a large column topped by a statue of Scott. There is a statue of Scott in New York City’s Central Park. Numerous Masonic Lodges have been named after him and his novels. For example: Lodge Sir Walter Scott, No.859, (Perth, Australia) and Lodge Waverly, No.597, (Edinburgh, Scotland). The annual Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction was created in 2010 by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, whose ancestors were closely linked to Sir Walter Scott. At £25,000 it is one of the largest prizes in British literature. The award has been presented at Scott’s historic home, Abbotsford House. Appearance on banknotes Scott has been credited with rescuing the Scottish banknote. In 1826, there was outrage in Scotland at the attempt of Parliament to prevent the production of banknotes of less than five pounds. Scott wrote a series of letters to the Edinburgh Weekly Journal under the pseudonym “Malachi Malagrowther” for retaining the right of Scottish banks to issue their own banknotes. This provoked such a response that the Government was forced to relent and allow the Scottish banks to continue printing pound notes. This campaign is commemorated by his continued appearance on the front of all notes issued by the Bank of Scotland. The image on the 2007 series of banknotes is based on the portrait by Henry Raeburn. Scott and education in the United States During and immediately after World War I there was a movement spearheaded by President Wilson and other eminent people to inculcate patriotism in American school children, especially immigrants, and to stress the American connection with the literature and institutions of the “mother country” of Great Britain, using selected readings in middle school textbooks. The effect was not always as intended. In his 1996 memoirs labor lawyer Victor Rabinowitz recalled: When I was nine or ten years old, the assigned reading in the class was “The Man without a Country", a short story by Edward Everett Hale. At its climax there appeared a poem by Sir Walter Scott, which we were obliged to memorize. I can still recite it: This poem troubled me a great deal. My father never intended to return to his native land [of Lithuania]. I didn’t know exactly what a “dead soul” was, but... I was sure my father didn’t have one. The last two lines... stated that my father was to go down into the vile dust from which he sprung... The poem never caused me to think less of my father, whom I loved and respected, but I quickly grew to despise and, in a sense, fear the thought advanced by the poetry. What was all this nonsense about a “native land”? Why was it better than any other land? And why should I have to memorize such a nasty verse. So I pondered at the age of ten. Scott’s Ivanhoe continued to be required reading for many American high school students until the end of the 1950s. References to Scott in literature by other authors In Charles Baudelaire’s La Fanfarlo (1847), poet Samuel Cramer says of Scott: Oh that tedious author, a dusty exhumer of chronicles! A fastidious mass of descriptions of bric-a-brac... and castoff things of every sort, armor, tableware, furniture, gothic inns, and melodramatic castles where lifeless mannequins stalk about, dressed in leotards. In the novella, however, Cramer proves as deluded a romantic as any hero in one of Scott’s novels. In Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) the narrator, Gilbert Markham, brings an elegantly bound copy of Marmion as a present to the independent “tenant of Wildfell Hall” (Helen Graham) whom he is courting, and is mortified when she insists on paying for it. In a speech delivered at Salem, Massachusetts, on 6 January 1860, to raise money for the families of the executed abolitionist John Brown and his followers, Ralph Waldo Emerson calls Brown an example of true chivalry, which consists not in noble birth but in helping the weak and defenseless and declares that “Walter Scott would have delighted to draw his picture and trace his adventurous career”. In his 1870 memoir, Army Life in a Black Regiment, New England abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson (later editor of Emily Dickinson), described how he wrote down and preserved Negro spirituals or “shouts” while serving as a colonel in the First South Carolina Volunteers, the first authorized Union Army regiment recruited from freedmen during the Civil War (memorialized in the 1989 film Glory). He wrote that he was “a faithful student of the Scottish ballads, and had always envied Sir Walter the delight of tracing them out amid their own heather, and of writing them down piecemeal from the lips of aged crones”. According to his daughter Eleanor, Scott was “an author to whom Karl Marx again and again returned, whom he admired and knew as well as he did Balzac and Fielding”. In his 1883 Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain satirized the impact of Scott’s writings, declaring (with humorous hyperbole) that Scott "had so large a hand in making Southern character, as it existed before the [American Civil] war", that he is “in great measure responsible for the war”. He goes on to coin the term “Sir Walter Scott disease”, which he blames for the South’s lack of advancement. Twain also targeted Scott in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, where he names a sinking boat the “Walter Scott” (1884); and, in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889), the main character repeatedly utters “great Scott” as an oath; by the end of the book, however, he has become absorbed in the world of knights in armor, reflecting Twain’s ambivalence on the topic. The idyllic Cape Cod retreat of suffragists Verena Tarrant and Olive Chancellor in Henry James’ The Bostonians (1886) is called Marmion, evoking what James considered the Quixotic idealism of these social reformers. In To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Ramsey glances at her husband: He was reading something that moved him very much... He was tossing the pages over. He was acting it– perhaps he was thinking himself the person in the book. She wondered what book it was. Oh, it was one of old Sir Walter’s she saw, adjusting the shade of her lamp so that the light fell on her knitting. For Charles Tansley had been saying (she looked up as if she expected to hear the crash of books on the floor above) that people don’t read Scott any more. Then her husband thought, “That’s what they’ll say of me;” so he went and got one of those books... [Scott’s] feeling for straight forward simple things, these fishermen, the poor old crazed creature in Mucklebackit’s cottage [in The Antiquary] made him feel so vigorous, so relieved of something that he felt roused and triumphant and could not choke back his tears... It fortified him. He clean forgot all the little rubs and digs of the evening... and his being so irritable with his wife and so touchy and minding when they passed his books over as if they didn’t exist at all. Raising the book a little to hide his face, he let them fall and shook his head from side to side and forgot himself completely (but not one or two reflections about morality and French novels and English novels and Scott’s hands being tied but his view perhaps being as true as the other view), forgot his own bothers and failures completely in poor Steenie’s drowning and Mucklebackit’s sorrow (that was Scott at his best) and the astonishing delight and feeling of vigor that it gave him. Well, let them improve upon that, he thought as he finished the chapter... The whole of life did not consist in going to bed with a woman, he thought, returning to Scott and Balzac, to the English novel and the French novel. In 1951, science-fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote Breeds There a Man...?, a short story with a tite from Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805). In To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), the protagonist’s brother is made to read Walter Scott’s book Ivanhoe to the ailing Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose, and he refers to the author as “Sir Walter Scout”, in reference to his own sister’s nickname. In Mother Night (1961) by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., memoirist and playwright Howard W. Campbell, Jr., prefaces his text with the six lines beginning “Breathes there the man...” In Knights of the Sea (2010) by Canadian author Paul Marlowe, there are several quotes from and references to Marmion, as well as an inn named after Ivanhoe, and a fictitious Scott novel entitled The Beastmen of Glen Glammoch. Bibliography Novels The Waverley Novels series * The Waverley Novels is the title given to the long series of Scott novels released from 1814 to 1832 which takes its name from the first novel, Waverley. The following is a chronological list of the entire series: * 1814: Waverley * 1815: Guy Mannering * 1816: The Antiquary * 1816: The Black Dwarf and The Tale of Old Mortality– the 1st installment from the subset series, Tales of My Landlord * 1817: Rob Roy * 1818: The Heart of Midlothian– the 2nd installment from the subset series, Tales of My Landlord * 1819: The Bride of Lammermoor and A Legend of Montrose– the 3rd installment from the subset series, Tales of My Landlord * 1820: Ivanhoe * 1820: The Monastery and The Abbot– from the subset series, Tales from Benedictine Sources * 1821: Kenilworth * 1822: The Pirate * 1822: The Fortunes of Nigel * 1822: Peveril of the Peak * 1823: Quentin Durward * 1824: St. Ronan’s Well * 1824: Redgauntlet * 1825: The Betrothed and The Talisman– from the subset series, Tales of the Crusaders * 1826: Woodstock * 1828: The Fair Maid of Perth– the 2nd installment from the subset series, Chronicles of the Canongate (sometimes not considered as part of the Waverley Novels series) * 1829: Anne of Geierstein * 1832: Count Robert of Paris and Castle Dangerous– the 4th installment from the subset series, Tales of My Landlord Other novels * 1831–1832: The Siege of Malta– a finished novel published posthumously in 2008 * 1832: Bizarro– an unfinished novel (or novella) published posthumously in 2008 Poetry * Many of the short poems or songs released by Scott were originally not separate pieces but parts of longer poems interspersed throughout his novels, tales, and dramas. * 1796: “Translations and Imitations from German Ballads” * 1796: “The Chase”– an English-language translation of the German-language poem by Gottfried August Bürger entitled "Der Wilde Jäger" (or, “The Wild Huntsmen”, its more common English translation) * 1802–1803: “The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border” * 1805: “The Lay of the Last Minstrel” * 1806: “Ballads and Lyrical Pieces” * 1808: “Marmion” * 1810: “The Lady of the Lake” * 1811: “The Vision of Don Roderick” * 1813: “The Bridal of Triermain” * 1813: “Rokeby” * 1815: “The Field of Waterloo” * 1815: “The Lord of the Isles” * 1817: “Harold the Dauntless” Short stories * 1827: “The Highland Widow”, “The Two Drovers”, and “The Surgeon’s Daughter”– the 1st installment from the series, Chronicles of the Canongate * 1828: “My Aunt Margaret’s Mirror”, “The Tapestried Chamber”, and “Death of the Laird’s Jock”– from the series, The Keepsake Stories Plays * 1799: Goetz of Berlichingen, with the Iron Hand: A Tragedy– an English-language translation of the 1773 German-language play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe entitled Götz von Berlichingen * 1822: Halidon Hill * 1823: MacDuff’s Cross * 1830: The Doom of Devorgoil * 1830: Auchindrane Non-fiction * 1796 Translations & imitations of German Ballads Librivox audio * 1814–1817: The Border Antiquities of England and Scotland– a work co-authored by Luke Clennell and John Greig with Scott’s contribution consisting of the substantial introductory essay, originally published in 2 volumes from 1814 to 1817 * 1815–1824: Essays on Chivalry, Romance, and Drama– a supplement to the 1815–1824 editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica * 1816: Paul’s Letters to his Kinsfolk * 1819–1826: Provincial Antiquities of Scotland * 1821–1824: Lives of the Novelists * 1825: Tales of the Crusaders * 1825–1832: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott * 1826: The Letters of Malachi Malagrowther * 1827: The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte * 1828: Religious Discourses * 1828: Tales of a Grandfather; Being Stories Taken from Scottish History– the 1st installment from the series, Tales of a Grandfather * 1829: The History of Scotland: Volume I * 1829: Tales of a Grandfather; Being Stories Taken from Scottish History– the 2nd installment from the series, Tales of a Grandfather * 1830: Essays on Ballad Poetry * 1830: The History of Scotland: Volume II * 1830: Tales of a Grandfather; Being Stories Taken from Scottish History– the 3rd installment from the series, Tales of a Grandfather * 1830: Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft * 1831: Tales of a Grandfather; Being Stories Taken from the History of France– the 4th installment from the series, Tales of a Grandfather * 1843: The Existence of Evil Spirits Proved References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Scott

Algernon Charles Swinburn

Algernon Charles Swinburne (5 April 1837– 10 April 1909) was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He wrote several novels and collections of poetry such as Poems and Ballads, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. A controversial figure at the time, Swinburne was a sado-masochist and alcoholic and was obsessed with the Middle Ages and lesbianism. Swinburne wrote about many taboo topics, such as lesbianism, cannibalism, sado-masochism, and anti-theism. His poems have many common motifs, such as the Ocean, Time, and Death. Several historical people are featured in his poems, such as Sappho ("Sapphics"), Anactoria ("Anactoria"), Jesus ("Hymn to Proserpine": Galilaee, La. “Galilean”) and Catullus ("To Catullus"). Biography Swinburne was born at 7 Chester Street, Grosvenor Place, London, on 5 April 1837. He was the eldest of six children born to Captain (later Admiral) Charles Henry Swinburne (1797–1877) and Lady Jane Henrietta, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ashburnham. He grew up at East Dene in Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight. He attended Eton College (1849–53), where he first started writing poetry, and then Balliol College, Oxford (1856–60) with a brief hiatus when he was rusticated from the university in 1859 for having publicly supported the attempted assassination of Napoleon III by Felice Orsini. He returned in May 1860, though he never received a degree. He spent summer holidays at Capheaton Hall in Northumberland, the house of his grandfather, Sir John Swinburne, 6th Baronet (1762–1860), who had a famous library and was President of the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle upon Tyne. Swinburne considered Northumberland to be his native county, an emotion reflected in poems like the intensely patriotic 'Northumberland’, 'Grace Darling’ and others. He enjoyed riding his pony across the moors (he was a daring horseman) 'through honeyed leagues of the northland border’, as he called the Scottish border in his Recollections. In the period 1857–60, Swinburne became one of Lady Pauline Trevelyan’s intellectual circle at Wallington Hall. After his grandfather’s death in 1860, he stayed with William Bell Scott in Newcastle. In 1861, Swinburne visited Menton on the French Riviera to recover from excessive use of alcohol, staying at the Villa Laurenti. From Menton, Swinburne travelled to Italy, where he journeyed extensively. In December 1862, Swinburne accompanied Scott and his guests, probably including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, on a trip to Tynemouth. Scott writes in his memoirs that, as they walked by the sea, Swinburne declaimed the as yet unpublished 'Hymn to Proserpine’ and 'Laus Veneris’ in his lilting intonation, while the waves 'were running the whole length of the long level sands towards Cullercoats and sounding like far-off acclamations’. At Oxford, Swinburne met several Pre-Raphaelites, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He also met William Morris. After leaving college, he lived in London and started an active writing career, where Rossetti was delighted with his 'little Northumbrian friend’, probably a reference to Swinburne’s diminutive height—he was just five foot four. Swinburne was an alcoholic and algolagniac and highly excitable. He liked to be flogged. His health suffered; and, in 1879 at the age of 42, he was taken into care by his friend, lawyer Theodore Watts, who looked after him for the rest of his life at The Pines, 11 Putney Hill, Putney SW15. Thereafter, he lost his youthful rebelliousness and developed into a figure of social respectability. It was said of Watts that he saved the man and killed the poet. Swinburne died at the Pines on 10 April 1909 at the age of 72 and was buried at St. Boniface Church, Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight. Reception Swinburne is considered a poet of the decadent school, although he perhaps professed to more vice than he actually indulged in to advertise his deviance– he spread a rumour that he had had sex with, then eaten, a monkey; Oscar Wilde stated that Swinburne was “a braggart in matters of vice, who had done everything he could to convince his fellow citizens of his homosexuality and bestiality without being in the slightest degree a homosexual or a bestialiser.” Many critics consider his mastery of vocabulary, rhyme and metre impressive, although he has also been criticised for his florid style and word choices that only fit the rhyme scheme rather than contributing to the meaning of the piece. He is the virtual star of the third volume of George Saintsbury’s famous History of English Prosody, and A. E. Housman, a more measured and even somewhat hostile critic, had great praise for his rhyming ability: [Swinburne] possessed an altogether unexampled command of rhyme, the chief enrichment of modern verse. The English language is comparatively poor in rhymes, and most English poets, when they have to rhyme more than two or three words together, betray their embarrassment. They betray it, for instance, when they write sonnets after the strict Petrarchian rule: the poetical inferiority of most English sonnets, if compared with what their own authors have achieved in other forms of verse, is largely though not entirely the result of this difficulty. [...] To Swinburne the sonnet was child’s play: the task of providing four rhymes was not hard enough, and he wrote long poems in which each stanza required eight or ten rhymes, and wrote them so that he never seemed to be saying anything for the rhyme’s sake. Swinburne’s work was once quite popular among undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge, though today it has gone out of fashion. This is at least somewhat contextual, as it tends to mirror the popular and academic consensus regarding his work, although his Poems and Ballads, First Series and his Atalanta in Calydon have never been out of critical favour. Atalanta in Calydon in particular has been lauded as one of his best early works, written in 1865, before the passionate excesses of later works earned him a sordid reputation for blasphemy and depravity among contemporary critics. T. S. Eliot read Swinburne’s essays on the Shakespearean and Jonsonian dramatists in The Contemporaries of Shakespeare and The Age of Shakespeare and Swinburne’s books on Shakespeare and Jonson. Writing on Swinburne in 'The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism’, Eliot said, of Swinburne, he had mastered his material, writing 'he is more reliable to them than Hazlitt, Coleridge, or Lamb: and his perception of relative values is almost always correct’. However, Eliot judged Swinburne did not master it to the extent of being able to take liberties with it, which is everything. Furthermore, Eliot disliked Swinburne’s prose, about which he wrote “the tumultuous outcry of adjectives, the headstrong rush of undisciplined sentences, are the index to the impatience and perhaps laziness of a disorderly mind.” Swinburne was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1903 to 1907 and again in 1909. H. P. Lovecraft considered Swinburne “the only real poet in either England or America after the death of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.” Work Swinburne’s poetic works include: Atalanta in Calydon (1865), Poems and Ballads (1866), Songs before Sunrise (1871), Poems and Ballads Second Series, (1878) Tristram of Lyonesse (1882), Poems and Ballads Third Series (1889), and the novel Lesbia Brandon (published posthumously in 1952). Poems and Ballads caused a sensation when it was first published, especially the poems written in homage of Sappho of Lesbos such as “Anactoria” and “Sapphics”: Moxon and Co. transferred its publication rights to John Camden Hotten. Other poems in this volume such as “The Leper,” “Laus Veneris,” and “St Dorothy” evoke a Victorian fascination with the Middle Ages, and are explicitly mediaeval in style, tone and construction. Also featured in this volume are “Hymn to Proserpine”, “The Triumph of Time” and “Dolores (Notre-Dame des Sept Douleurs)”. Swinburne devised the poetic form called the roundel, a variation of the French Rondeau form, and some were included in A Century of Roundels dedicated to Christina Rossetti. Swinburne wrote to Edward Burne-Jones in 1883: "I have got a tiny new book of songs or songlets, in one form and all manner of metres... just coming out, of which Miss Rossetti has accepted the dedication. I hope you and Georgie [his wife Georgiana, one of the MacDonald sisters] will find something to like among a hundred poems of nine lines each, twenty-four of which are about babies or small children". Opinions of these poems vary between those who find them captivating and brilliant, to those who find them merely clever and contrived. One of them, A Baby’s Death, was set to music by the English composer Sir Edward Elgar as the song Roundel: The little eyes that never knew Light. Swinburne was influenced by the work of William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Catullus, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Robert Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Victor Hugo. While he was popular in England during his life, Swinburne’s influence has greatly decreased since his death. After the first Poems and Ballads, Swinburne’s later poetry was devoted more to philosophy and politics, including the unification of Italy, particularly in the volume Songs before Sunrise. He did not stop writing love poetry entirely, including his great epic-length poem, Tristram of Lyonesse, but its content is much less shocking. His versification, and especially his rhyming technique, remain in top form to the end. Verse drama The Queen Mother (1860) Rosamond (1860) Chastelard (1865) Bothwell (1874) Mary Stuart (1881) Marino Faliero (1885) Locrine (1887) The Sisters (1892) Rosamund, Queen of the Lombards (1899) Poetry Atalanta in Calydon (1865)† Poems and Ballads (1866) Songs Before Sunrise (1871) Songs of Two Nations (1875) Erechtheus (1876)† Poems and Ballads, Second Series (1878) Songs of the Springtides (1880) Studies in Song (1880) The Heptalogia, or the Seven against Sense. A Cap with Seven Bells (1880) Tristam of Lyonesse (1882) A Century of Roundels (1883) A Midsummer Holiday and Other Poems (1884) Poems and Ballads, Third Series (1889) Astrophel and Other Poems (1894) The Tale of Balen (1896) A Channel Passage and Other Poems (1904) ^† Although formally tragedies, Atlanta in Calydon and Erechtheus are traditionally included with “poetry”. Criticism William Blake: A Critical Essay (1868, new edition 1906) Under the Microscope (1872) George Chapman: A Critical Essay (1875) Essays and Studies (1875) A Note on Charlotte Brontë (1877) A Study of Shakespeare (1880) A Study of Victor Hugo (1886) A Study of Ben Johnson (1889) Studies in Prose and Poetry (1894) The Age of Shakespeare (1908) Shakespeare (1909) Major collections The poems of Algernon Charles Swinburne, 6 vols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1904. The Tragedies of Algernon Charles Swinburne, 5 vols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1905. The Complete Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne, ed. Sir Edmund Gosse and Thomas James Wise, 20 vols. Bonchurch Edition; London and New York: William Heinemann and Gabriel Wells, 1925-7. The Swinburne Letters, ed. Cecil Y. Lang, 6 vols. 1959-62. Ancestry References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algernon_Charles_Swinburne

Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder (born May 8, 1930) is an American man of letters. Perhaps best known as a poet (often associated with the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance), he is also an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. He has been described as the "poet laureate of Deep Ecology". Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award. His work, in his various roles, reflects an immersion in both Buddhist spirituality and nature. Snyder has translated literature into English from ancient Chinese and modern Japanese. For many years, Snyder served as a faculty member at the University of California, Davis, and he also served for a time on the California Arts Council. Early life Gary Sherman Snyder was born in San Francisco, California to Harold and Lois Hennessy Snyder. Snyder is of German, Scots-Irish, and English ancestry. His family, impoverished by the Great Depression, moved to King County, Washington, when he was two years old. There they tended dairy cows, kept laying hens, had a small orchard, and made cedar-wood shingles, until moving to Portland, Oregon ten years later. At the age of seven, Snyder was laid up for four months by an accident. "So my folks brought me piles of books from the Seattle Public Library," he recalled in interview, "and it was then I really learned to read and from that time on was voracious — I figure that accident changed my life. At the end of four months, I had read more than most kids do by the time they're eighteen. And I didn't stop." Also during his ten childhood years in Washington, Snyder became aware of the presence of the Coast Salish people and developed an interest in the Native American peoples in general and their traditional relationship with nature. In 1942, following his parents' divorce, Snyder moved to Portland, Oregon with his mother and his younger sister, Anthea. Their mother, Lois Snyder Hennessy (born Wilkey), worked during this period as a reporter for The Oregonian. One of Gary's boyhood jobs was as a newspaper copy boy, also at the Oregonian. Also, during his teen years, he attended Lincoln High School, worked as a camp counselor, and went mountain climbing with the Mazamas youth group. Climbing remained an interest of his, especially during his twenties and thirties. In 1947, he started attending Reed College on a scholarship. Here he met, and for a time, roomed with the education author Carl Proujan and Philip Whalen and Lew Welch. At Reed, Snyder published his first poems in a student journal. He also spent the summer of 1948 working as a seaman. He joined the now defunct Marine Cooks and Stewards union to get this job, and would later work as a seaman in the mid-1950s to gain experience of other cultures in port cities. Snyder married Alison Gass in 1950; they separated after seven months, and divorced in 1952. While attending Reed, Snyder did folklore research on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in central Oregon. He graduated with a dual degree in anthropology and literature in 1951. He spent the following few summers working as a timber scaler at Warm Springs, developing relationships with its people that were less rooted in academia. This experience formed the basis for some of his earliest published poems (including "A Berry Feast"), later collected in the book The Back Country. He also encountered the basic ideas of Buddhism and, through its arts, some of the Far East's traditional attitudes toward nature. He went to Indiana University with a graduate fellowship to study anthropology. (Snyder also began practicing self-taught Zen meditation.) He left after a single semester to return to San Francisco and to 'sink or swim as a poet'. Snyder worked for two summers in the North Cascades in Washington as a fire lookout, on Crater Mountain in 1952 and Sourdough Mountain in 1953 (both locations on the upper Skagit River). His attempts to get another lookout stint in 1954 (at the peak of McCarthyism), however, failed. He had been barred from working for the government, due to his association with the Marine Cooks and Stewards. Instead, he went back to Warm Springs to work in logging as a chokersetter (fastening cables to logs). This experience contributed to his Myths and Texts and the essay Ancient Forests of the Far West. The Beats Back in San Francisco, Snyder lived with Whalen, who shared his growing interest in Zen. Snyder's reading of the writings of D.T. Suzuki had in fact been a factor in his decision not to continue as a graduate-student in anthropology, and in 1953 he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley to study Asian culture and languages. He studied ink and wash painting under Chiura Obata and Tang Dynasty poetry under Ch'en Shih-hsiang. Snyder continued to spend summers working in the forests, including one summer as a trail-builder in Yosemite. He spent some months in 1955 and 1956 living in a cabin (which he dubbed "Marin-an") outside Mill Valley, California with Jack Kerouac. It was also at this time that Snyder was an occasional student at the American Academy of Asian Studies, where Saburō Hasegawa and Alan Watts, among others, were teaching. Hasegawa introduced Snyder to the treatment of landscape painting as a meditative practice. This inspired Snyder to attempt something equivalent in poetry, and with Hasegawa's encouragement, he began work on Mountains and Rivers without End, which would be completed and published forty years later. During these years, Snyder was writing and collecting his own work, as well as embarking on the translation of the "Cold Mountain" poems by the 8th-century Chinese recluse Han Shan; this work appeared in chapbook-form in 1969, under the title Riprap & Cold Mountain Poems. Snyder met Allen Ginsberg when the latter sought Snyder out on the recommendation of Kenneth Rexroth. Then, through Ginsberg, Snyder and Kerouac came to know each other. This period provided the materials for Kerouac's novel The Dharma Bums, and Snyder was the inspiration for the novel's main character, Japhy Ryder, in the same way Neal Cassady had inspired Dean Moriarty in On the Road. As the large majority of people in the Beat movement had urban backgrounds, writers like Ginsberg and Kerouac found Snyder, with his backcountry and manual-labor experience and interest in things rural, a refreshing and almost exotic individual. Lawrence Ferlinghetti later referred to Snyder as 'the Thoreau of the Beat Generation'. Snyder read his poem "A Berry Feast" at the poetry reading at the Six Gallery in San Francisco (October 7, 1955) that heralded what was to become known as the San Francisco Renaissance. This also marked Snyder's first involvement with the Beats, although he was not a member of the original New York circle, but rather entered the scene through his association with Kenneth Rexroth. As recounted in Kerouac's Dharma Bums, even at age 25 Snyder felt he could have a role in the fateful future meeting of West and East. Snyder's first book, Riprap, which drew on his experiences as a forest lookout and on the trail-crew in Yosemite, was published in 1959. Japan and India Independently, some of the Beats, including Philip Whalen, had become interested in Zen, but Snyder was one of the more serious scholars of the subject among them, preparing in every way he could think of for eventual study in Japan. In 1955, the First Zen Institute of America offered him a scholarship for a year of Zen training in Japan, but the State Department refused to issue him a passport, informing him that "it has been alleged you are a Communist." A subsequent District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruling forced a change in policy, and Snyder got his passport. In the end, his expenses were paid by Ruth Fuller Sasaki, for whom he was supposed to work; but initially he served as personal attendant and English tutor to Zen abbot Miura Isshu, at Rinko-in, a temple in Shokoku-ji in Kyoto, where Dwight Goddard and R. H. Blyth had preceded him. Mornings, after zazen, sutra chanting, and chores for Miura, he took Japanese classes, bringing his spoken Japanese up to a level sufficient for kōan study. He developed a friendship with Philip Yampolsky, who took him around Kyoto. In early July 1955, he took refuge and requested to become Miura's disciple, thus formally becoming a Buddhist. He returned to California via the Persian Gulf, Turkey, Sri Lanka and various Pacific Islands, in 1958, voyaging as a crewman in the engine room on the oil freighter Sappa Creek, and took up residence at Marin-an again. He turned one room into a zendo, with about six regular participants. In early June, he met the poet Joanne Kyger. She became his girlfriend, and eventually his wife. In 1959, he shipped for Japan again, where he rented a cottage outside Kyoto. He became the first foreign disciple of Oda Sesso Roshi, the new abbot of Daitoku-ji. He married Kyger on February 28, 1960, immediately after her arrival, which Sasaki insisted they do, if they were to live together and be associated with the First Zen Institute of America. Snyder and Joanne Kyger were married from 1960 to 1965. During the period between 1956 and 1969, Snyder went back and forth between California and Japan, studying Zen, working on translations with Ruth Fuller Sasaki, and finally living for a while with a group of other people on the small, volcanic island of Suwanosejima. His previous study of written Chinese assisted his immersion in the Zen tradition (with its roots in Tang Dynasty China) and enabled him to take on certain professional projects while he was living in Japan. Snyder received the Zen precepts and a dharma name (Chofu, "Listen to the Wind"), and lived sometimes as a de facto monk, but never registered to become a priest and planned eventually to return to the United States to 'turn the wheel of the dharma'. During this time, he published a collection of his poems from the early to mid '50s, Myths & Texts (1960), and Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End (1965). This last was the beginning of a project that he was to continue working on until the late 1990s. Much of Snyder's poetry expresses experiences, environments, and insights involved with the work he has done for a living: logger, fire-lookout, steam-freighter crew, translator, carpenter, and itinerant poet, among other things. During his years in Japan, Snyder was also initiated into Shugendo, a form of ancient Japanese animism, (see also Yamabushi). In the early 1960s he traveled for six months through India with his wife Joanne, Allen Ginsberg, and Peter Orlovsky. Snyder and Joanne Kyger separated soon after a trip to India, and divorced in 1965. Dharma Bums In the 1950s, Snyder took part in the rise of a strand of Buddhist anarchism emerging from the Beat movement. Snyder was the inspiration for the character Japhy Rider in Jack Kerouac's novel The Dharma Bums (1958). Snyder had spent considerable time in Japan studying Zen Buddhism, and in 1961 published an essay, Buddhist Anarchism, where he described the connection he saw between these two traditions, originating in different parts of the world: "The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void." He advocated "using such means as civil disobedience, outspoken criticism, protest, pacifism, voluntary poverty and even gentle violence" and defended "the right of individuals to smoke ganja, eat peyote, be polygymous, polyandrous or homosexual" which he saw as being banned by "the Judaeo-Capitalist-Christian-Marxist West". Kitkitdizze In 1966, Snyder joined Allen Ginsberg, Zentatsu Richard Baker, Roshi of the San Francisco Zen Center, and Donald Walters, a.k.a. "Swami Kriyananda," to buy 100 acres (0.40 km2) in the Sierra foothills, north of Nevada City, California. In 1970, this would become his home, with the Snyder family's portion being named Kitkitdizze. Snyder spent the summers of 1967 and 1968 with a group of Japanese back-to-the-land drop-outs known as "the Tribe" on Suwanosejima (a small Japanese island in the East China Sea), where they combed the beaches, gathered edible plants, and fished. On the island, on August 6, 1967, he married Masa Uehara, whom he had met in Osaka a year earlier. In 1968, they moved to California with their infant son, Kai (born April 1968). Their second son, Gen, was born a year later. In 1971, they moved to the San Juan Ridge in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada of Northern California, near the South Yuba River, where they and friends built a house that drew on rural-Japanese and Native-American architectural ideas. In 1967 his book The Back Country appeared, again mainly a collection of poems stretching back over about fifteen years. Snyder devoted a section at the end of the book to his translations of eighteen poems by Kenji Miyazawa. Later life and writings Regarding Wave appeared in 1969, a stylistic departure offering poems that were more emotional, metaphoric, and lyrical. From the late 1960s, the content of Snyder's poetry increasingly had to do with family, friends, and community. He continued to publish poetry throughout the 1970s, much of it reflecting his re-immersion in life on the American continent and his involvement in the back-to-the-land movement in the Sierra foothills. His 1974 book Turtle Island, titled after a Native American name for the North American continent, won a Pulitzer Prize. It also influenced numerous West Coast Generation X writers, including Alex Steffen, Bruce Barcott and Mark Morford. His 1983 book Axe Handles, won an American Book Award. Snyder wrote numerous essays setting forth his views on poetry, culture, social experimentation, and the environment. Many of these were collected in Earth House Hold (1969), The Old Ways (1977), The Real Work (1980), The Practice of the Wild (1990), A Place in Space (1995), and The Gary Snyder Reader (1999). In 1979, Snyder published He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village: The Dimensions of a Haida Myth, based on his Reed thesis. Snyder's journals from his travel in India in the mid-1960s appeared in 1983 under the title Passage Through India. In these, his wide-ranging interests in cultures, natural history, religions, social critique, contemporary America, and hands-on aspects of rural life, as well as his ideas on literature, were given full-blown articulation. In 1986, Snyder became a professor in the writing-program at the University of California, Davis. Snyder is now professor emeritus of English. Snyder was married to Uehara for twenty-two years; the couple divorced in 1989. Snyder married Carole Lynn Koda (October 3, 1947 – June 29, 2006), who would write Homegrown: Thirteen brothers and sisters, a century in America, in 1991, and remained married to her until her death of cancer. She had been born in the third generation of a successful Japanese-American farming family, noted for its excellent rice. She shared Buddhism, extensive travels, and work with Snyder, and performed independent work as a naturalist. As Snyder's involvement in environmental issues and his teaching grew, he seemed to move away from poetry for much of the 1980s and early 1990s. However, in 1996 he published the complete Mountains and Rivers Without End, a mixture of the lyrical and epic modes celebrating the act of inhabitation on a specific place on the planet. This work was written over a 40-year period. It has been translated into Japanese and French. In 2004 Snyder published Danger on Peaks, his first collection of new poems in twenty years. Snyder was awarded the Levinson Prize from the journal Poetry, the American Poetry Society Shelley Memorial Award (1986), was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1987), and won the 1997 Bollingen Prize for Poetry and, that same year, the John Hay Award for Nature Writing. Snyder also has the distinction of being the first American to receive the Buddhism Transmission Award (for 1998) from the Japan-based Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Foundation. For his ecological and social activism, Snyder was named as one of the 100 visionaries selected in 1995 by Utne Reader. Snyder's life and work was celebrated in John J. Healy's 2010 documentary The Practice of the Wild. The film, which debuted at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival, features wide-ranging, running conversations between Snyder and poet, writer and longtime colleague Jim Harrison, filmed mostly on the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon, California. The film also shows archival photographs and film of Snyder's life. Poetic work Gary Snyder uses mainly common speech-patterns as the basis for his lines, though his style has been noted for its "flexibility" and the variety of different forms his poems have taken. He does not typically use conventional meters nor intentional rhyme. "Love and respect for the primitive tribe, honour accorded the Earth, the escape from city and industry into both the past and the possible, contemplation, the communal", such, according to Glyn Maxwell, is the awareness and commitment behind the specific poems. The author and editor Stewart Brand once wrote: "Gary Snyder's poetry addresses the life-planet identification with unusual simplicity of style and complexity of effect." According to Jody Norton, this simplicity and complexity derives from Snyder's use of natural imagery (geographical formations, flora, and fauna)in his poems. Such imagery can be both sensual at a personal level yet universal and generic in nature. In the 1968 poem "Beneath My Hand and Eye the Distant Hills, Your Body," the author compares the intimate experience of a lover's caress with the mountains, hills, cinder cones, and craters of the Uintah Mountains. Readers become explorers on both a very private level as well as a very public and grand level. A simplistic touch becoming a very complex interaction occurring at multiple levels. This is the effect Snyder intended. In an interview with Faas, he states." There is a direction which is very beautiful, and that's the direction of the organism being less and less locked into itself, less and less locked into its own body structure and its relatively inadequate sense organs, towards a state where the organism can actually go out from itself and share itself with others." Snyder has always maintained that his personal sensibility arose from his interest in Native Americans and their involvement with nature and knowledge of it; indeed, their ways seemed to resonate with his own. And he has sought something akin to this through Buddhist practices, Yamabushi initiation, and other experiences and involvements. However, since his youth he has been quite literate, and he has written about his appreciation of writers of similar sensibilities, like D. H. Lawrence, William Butler Yeats, and some of the great ancient Chinese poets. William Carlos Williams was another influence, especially on Snyder's earliest published work. Starting in high school, Snyder read and loved the work of Robinson Jeffers, his predecessor in poetry of the landscape of the American West; but, whereas Jeffers valued nature over humankind, Snyder saw humankind as part of nature. Snyder commented in interview "I have some concerns that I'm continually investigating that tie together biology, mysticism, prehistory, general systems theory". Snyder argues that poets, and humans in general, need to adjust to very long timescales, especially when judging the consequences of their actions. His poetry examines the gap between nature and culture so as to point to ways in which the two can be more closely integrated. In 2004, receiving the Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Awards Grand Prize, Snyder highlighted traditional ballads and folk songs, Native American songs and poems, William Blake, Walt Whitman, Jeffers, Ezra Pound, Noh drama, Zen aphorisms, Federico García Lorca, and Robert Duncan as significant influences on his poetry, but added, "the influence from haiku and from the Chinese is, I think, the deepest." Romanticism Snyder is among those writers who have sought to dis-entrench conventional thinking about primitive peoples that has viewed them as simple-minded, ignorantly superstitious, brutish, and prone to violent emotionalism. In the 1960s Snyder developed a "neo-tribalist" view akin to the "post-modernist" theory of French Sociologist Michel Maffesoli. The "re-tribalization" of the modern, mass-society world envisioned by Marshall McLuhan, with all of the ominous, dystopian possibilities that McLuhan warned of, subsequently accepted by many modern intellectuals, is not the future that Snyder expects or works toward. Snyder's is a positive interpretation of the tribe and of the possible future. Todd Ensign describes Snyder's interpretation as blending ancient tribal beliefs and traditions, philosophy, physicality, and nature with politics to create his own form of Postmodern-environmentalism. Snyder rejects the perspective which portrays nature and humanity in direct opposition to one another. Instead, he chooses to write from multiple viewpoints. He purposely sets out to bring about change on the emotional, physical, and political levels by emphasizing the ecological problems faced by today's society. Beat Gary Snyder is widely regarded as a member of the Beat Generation circle of writers: he was one of the poets that read at the famous Six Gallery event, and was written about in one of Kerouac's most popular novels, The Dharma Bums. Some critics argue that Snyder's connection with the Beats is exaggerated and that he might better be regarded as a member of the West-Coast group the San Francisco Renaissance, which developed independently. Snyder himself has some reservations about the label "Beat", but does not appear to have any strong objection to being included in the group. He often talks about the Beats in the first person plural, referring to the group as "we" and "us". A quotation from a 1974 interview at the University of North Dakota Writers Conference (published in The Beat Vision): I never did know exactly what was meant by the term 'The Beats', but let's say that the original meeting, association, comradeship of Allen [Ginsberg], myself, Michael [McClure], Lawrence [Ferlinghetti], Philip Whalen, who's not here, Lew Welch, who's dead, Gregory [Corso], for me, to a somewhat lesser extent (I never knew Gregory as well as the others) did embody a criticism and a vision which we shared in various ways, and then went our own ways for many years. Where we began to come really close together again, in the late '60s, and gradually working toward this point, it seems to me, was when Allen began to take a deep interest in Oriental thought and then in Buddhism which added another dimension to our levels of agreement; and later through Allen's influence, Lawrence began to draw toward that; and from another angle, Michael and I after the lapse of some years of contact, found our heads very much in the same place, and it's very curious and interesting now; and Lawrence went off in a very political direction for a while, which none of us had any objection with, except that wasn't my main focus. It's very interesting that we find ourselves so much on the same ground again, after having explored divergent paths; and find ourselves united on this position of powerful environmental concern, critique of the future of the individual state, and an essentially shared poetics, and only half-stated but in the background very powerfully there, a basic agreement on some Buddhist type psychological views of human nature and human possibilities. Snyder has also commented "The term Beat is better used for a smaller group of writers ... the immediate group around Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, plus Gregory Corso and a few others. Many of us ... belong together in the category of the San Francisco Renaissance. ... Still, beat can also be defined as a particular state of mind ... and I was in that mind for a while". Bibliography * Myths & Texts (1960) * Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End (1965) * The Back Country (1967) * Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems (1969) * Regarding Wave (1969) * Earth House Hold (1969) * Turtle Island (1974) * The Old Ways (1977) * He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village: The Dimensions of a Haida Myth (1979) * The Real Work: Interviews & Talks 1964-1979 (1980) * Axe Handles (1983) * Passage Through India (1983) * Left Out in the Rain (1988) * The Practice of the Wild (1990) * No Nature: New and Selected Poems (1992) * A Place in Space (1995) * narrator of the audio book version of Kazuaki Tanahashi's Moon in a Dewdrop from Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō * Mountains and Rivers Without End (1996) * The Gary Snyder Reader: Prose, Poetry, and Translations (1999) * The High Sierra of California, with Tom Killion (2002) * Look Out: a Selection of Writings (November 2002) * Danger on Peaks (2005) * Back on the Fire: Essays (2007) * The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder, 1956-1991"(2009) * Tamalpais Walking, with Tom Killion (2009) * The Etiquette of Freedom, with Jim Harrison (2010) film by Will Hearst with book edited by Paul Ebenkamp * Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places, with Julia Martin, Trinity University Press (2014). * This Present Moment (April 2015) * Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder (May 2015) * The Great Clod: Notes and Memories on the Natural History of China and Japan (March 2016) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Snyder

Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Turner Smith (4 May 1749– 28 October 1806) was an English Romantic poet and novelist. She initiated a revival of the English sonnet, helped establish the conventions of Gothic fiction, and wrote political novels of sensibility. Smith was born into a wealthy family and received a typical education for a woman during the late 18th century. However, her father’s reckless spending forced her to marry early. In a marriage that she later described as prostitution, she was given by her father to the violent and profligate Benjamin Smith. Their marriage was deeply unhappy, although they had twelve children together. Charlotte joined Benjamin in debtor’s prison, where she wrote her first book of poetry, Elegiac Sonnets. Its success allowed her to help pay for Benjamin’s release. Benjamin’s father attempted to leave money to Charlotte and her children upon his death, but legal technicalities prevented her from ever acquiring it. Charlotte Smith eventually left Benjamin and began writing to support their children. Smith’s struggle to provide for her children and her frustrated attempts to gain legal protection as a woman provided themes for her poetry and novels; she included portraits of herself and her family in her novels as well as details about her life in her prefaces. Her early novels are exercises in aesthetic development, particularly of the Gothic and sentimentality. “The theme of her many sentimental and didactic novels was that of a badly married wife helped by a thoughtful sensible lover” (Smith’s entry in British Authors Before 1800: A Biographical Dictionary Ed. Stanley Kunitz and Howard Haycraft. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1952. pg. 478.) Her later novels, including The Old Manor House, often considered her best, support the ideals of the French Revolution. Smith was a successful writer, publishing ten novels, three books of poetry, four children’s books, and other assorted works, over the course of her career. She always saw herself as a poet first and foremost, however, as poetry was considered the most exalted form of literature at the time. Scholars credit Smith with transforming the sonnet into an expression of woeful sentiment that would pave the way for poets such as Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelly and Keats. Smith’s poetry and prose was praised by contemporaries such as Romantic poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge as well as novelist Walter Scott. Coleridge, in 1796, even remarked that “those sonnets appear to me the most exquisite, in which moral Sentiments, Affections, or Feelings, are deduced from, and associated with the scenery of Nature”. After 1798, Smith’s popularity waned and by 1803 she was destitute and ill—she could barely hold a pen. She had to sell her books to pay off her debts. In 1806, Smith died. Largely forgotten by the middle of the 19th century, her works have now been republished and she is recognized as an important Romantic writer. Early life Smith was born on 4 May 1749 in London and baptized on 12 June; she was the oldest child of well-to-do Nicholas Turner and Anna Towers. Her two younger siblings, Nicholas and Catherine Ann, were born within the next five years. Smith’s childhood was shaped by her mother’s early death (probably in giving birth to Catherine) and her father’s reckless spending. After losing his wife, Nicholas Turner travelled and the children were raised by Lucy Towers, their maternal aunt (when exactly their father returned is unknown). At the age of six, Charlotte went to school in Chichester and took drawing lessons from the painter George Smith. Two years later, she, her aunt, and her sister moved to London and she attended a girls school in Kensington where she learned dancing, drawing, music, and acting. She loved to read and wrote poems, which her father encouraged. She even submitted a few to the Lady’s Magazine for publication, but they were not accepted. Marriage and first publication Smith’s father encountered financial difficulties upon his return to England and he was forced to sell some of the family’s holdings and to marry the wealthy Henrietta Meriton in 1765. Smith entered society at the age of twelve, leaving school and being tutored at home. On 23 February 1765, at the age of fifteen, she married Benjamin Smith, the son of Richard Smith, a wealthy West Indian merchant and a director of the East India Company. The proposal was accepted for her by her father; forty years later, Smith condemned her father’s action, which she wrote had turned her into a “legal prostitute”. Smith’s marriage was unhappy. She detested living in commercial Cheapside (the family later moved to Southgate and Tottenham) and argued with her in-laws, who she believed were unrefined and uneducated. They, in turn, mocked her for spending time reading, writing, and drawing. Even worse, Benjamin proved to be violent, unfaithful, and profligate. Only her father-in-law, Richard, appreciated her writing abilities, although he wanted her to use them to further his business interests. Richard Smith owned plantations in Barbados and he and his second wife brought five slaves to England, who, along with their descendants, were included as part of the family property in his will. Although Charlotte Smith later argued against slavery in works such as The Old Manor House (1793) and “Beachy Head”, she herself benefited from the income and slave labor of Richard Smith’s plantations. In 1766, Charlotte and Benjamin had their first child, who died the next year just days after the birth of their second, Benjamin Berney (1767–77). Between 1767 and 1785, the couple had ten more children: William Towers (born 1768), Charlotte Mary (born c. 1769), Braithwaite (born 1770), Nicholas Hankey (1771–1837), Married Anni Petroose (1779–1843), Charles Dyer (born 1773), Anna Augusta (1774–94), Lucy Eleanor (born 1776), Lionel (1778–1842), Harriet (born c. 1782), and George (born c. 1785). Only six of Smith’s children survived her. Smith assisted in the family business that her husband had abandoned by helping Richard Smith with his correspondence. She persuaded Richard to set Benjamin up as a gentleman farmer in Hampshire and lived with him at Lys Farm from 1774 until 1783. Worried about Charlotte’s future and that of his grandchildren and concerned that his son would continue his irresponsible ways, Richard Smith willed the majority of his property to Charlotte’s children. However, because he had drawn up the will himself, the documents contained legal problems. The inheritance, originally worth nearly £36,000, was tied up in chancery after his death in 1776 for almost forty years. Smith and her children saw little of it. (It has been proposed that this real case may have inspired the famous fictional case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, in Dickens’s Bleak House.) In fact, Benjamin illegally spent at least a third of the legacy and ended up in King’s Bench Prison in December 1783. Smith moved in with him and it was in this environment that she wrote and published her first work, Elegiac Sonnets (1784). Elegiac Sonnets achieved instant success, allowing Charlotte to pay for their release from prison. Smith’s sonnets helped initiate a revival of the form and granted an aura of respectability to her later novels (poetry was considered the highest art form at the time). Smith revised Elegiac Poems several times over the years, eventually creating a two-volume work. Novelist After Benjamin Smith was released from prison, the entire family moved to Dieppe, France to avoid further creditors. Charlotte returned to negotiate with them, but failed to come to an agreement. She went back to France and in 1784 began translating works from French into English. In 1787 she published The Romance of Real Life, consisting of translated selections from François Gayot de Pitaval’s trials. She was forced to withdraw her other translation, Manon Lescaut, after it was argued that the work was immoral and plagiarized. In 1786, she published it anonymously. In 1785, the family returned to England and moved to Woolbeding House near Midhurst, Sussex. Smith’s relationship with her husband did not improve and on 15 April 1787, after twenty-two years of marriage, she left him. She wrote that she might “have been contented to reside in the same house with him”, had not “his temper been so capricious and often so cruel” that her “life was not safe”. When Charlotte left Benjamin, she did not secure a legal agreement that would protect her profits—he would have access to them under English primogeniture laws. Smith knew that her children’s future rested on a successful settlement of the lawsuit over her father-in-law’s will, therefore she made every effort to earn enough money to fund the suit and retain the family’s genteel status. Smith claimed the position of gentlewoman, signing herself “Charlotte Smith of Bignor Park” on the title page of Elegiac Sonnets. All of her works were published under her own name, “a daring decision” for a woman at the time. Her success as a poet allowed her to make this choice. Throughout her career, Smith identified herself as a poet. Although she published far more prose than poetry and her novels brought her more money and fame, she believed poetry would bring her respectability. As Sarah Zimmerman claimed in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, “She prized her verse for the role it gave her as a private woman whose sorrows were submitted only reluctantly to the public.” After separating from her husband, Smith moved to a town near Chichester and decided to write novels, as they would make her more money than poetry. Her first novel, Emmeline (1788), was a success, selling 1500 copies within months. She wrote nine more novels in the next ten years: Ethelinde (1789), Celestina (1791), Desmond (1792), The Old Manor House (1793), The Wanderings of Warwick (1794), The Banished Man (1794), Montalbert (1795), Marchmont (1796), and The Young Philosopher (1798). Smith began her career as a novelist during the 1780s at a time when women’s fiction was expected to focus on romance and to foreground “a chaste and flawless heroine subjected to repeated melodramatic distresses until reinstated in society by the virtuous hero”. Although Smith’s novels employed this structure, they also incorporated political commentary, particularly support of the French Revolution, through the voices of male characters. At times, she challenged the typical romance plot by including “narratives of female desire” or “tales of females suffering despotism”. Smith’s novels contributed to the development of Gothic fiction and the novel of sensibility. Smith’s novels are autobiographical. While a common device at the time, Antje Blank writes in The Literary Encyclopedia, “few exploited fiction’s potential of self-representation with such determination as Smith”. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Stafford in Emmeline are portraits of Charlotte and Benjamin. The prefaces to Smith’s novels told the story of her own struggles, including the deaths of several of her children. According to Zimmerman, "Smith mourned most publicly for her daughter Anna Augusta, who married an émigré... and died aged twenty in 1795." Smith’s prefaces positioned her as both a suffering sentimental heroine as well as a vocal critic of the laws that kept her and her children in poverty. Smith’s experiences prompted her to argue for legal reforms that would grant women more rights, making the case for these reforms through her novels. Smith’s stories showed the “legal, economic, and sexual exploitation” of women by marriage and property laws. Initially readers were swayed by her arguments and writers such as William Cowper patronized her. However, as the years passed, readers became exhausted by Smith’s stories of struggle and inequality. Public opinion shifted towards the view of poet Anna Seward, who argued that Smith was “vain” and “indelicate” for exposing her husband to “public contempt”. Smith moved frequently due to financial concerns and declining health. During the last twenty years of her life, she lived in: Chichester, Brighton, Storrington, Bath, Exmouth, Weymouth, Oxford, London, Frant, and Elstead. She eventually settled at Tilford, Surrey. Smith became involved with English radicals while she was living in Brighton from 1791 to 1793. Like them, she supported the French Revolution and its republican principles. Her epistolary novel Desmond tells the story of a man who journeys to revolutionary France and is convinced of the rightness of the revolution and contends that England should be reformed as well. The novel was published in June 1792, a year before France and England went to war and before the Reign of Terror began, which shocked the British public, turning them against the revolutionaries. Like many radicals, Smith criticized the French, but she still endorsed the original ideals of the revolution. In order to support her family, Smith had to sell her works, thus she was eventually forced to, as Blank claims, “tone down the radicalism that had characterised the authorial voice in Desmond and adopt more oblique techniques to express her libertarian ideals”. She therefore set her next novel, The Old Manor House (1793), during the American Revolutionary War, which allowed her to discuss democratic reform without directly addressing the French situation. However, in her last novel, The Young Philosopher (1798), Smith wrote a final piece of “outspoken radical fiction”. Smith’s protagonist leaves Britain for America, as there is no hope for a reform in Britain. The Old Manor House is "frequently deemed [Smith’s] best" novel for its sentimental themes and development of minor characters. Novelist Walter Scott labeled it as such and poet and critic Anna Laetitia Barbauld chose it for her anthology of The British Novelists (1810). As a successful novelist and poet, Smith communicated with famous artists and thinkers of the day, including musician Charles Burney (father of Frances Burney), poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, scientist and poet Erasmus Darwin, lawyer and radical Thomas Erskine, novelist Mary Hays, playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and poet Robert Southey. A wide array of periodicals reviewed her works, including the Anti-Jacobin Review, the Analytical Review, the British Critic, The Critical Review, the European Magazine, the Gentleman’s Magazine, the Monthly Magazine, and the Universal Magazine. Smith earned the most money between 1787 and 1798, after which she was no longer as popular; several reasons have been suggested for the public’s declining interest in Smith, including “a corresponding erosion of the quality of her work after so many years of literary labour, an eventual waning of readerly interest as she published, on average, one work per year for twenty-two years, and a controversy that attached to her public profile” as she wrote about the French revolution. Both radical and conservative periodicals criticized her novels about the revolution. Her insistence on pursuing the lawsuit over Richard Smith’s inheritance lost her several patrons. Also, her increasingly blunt prefaces made her less appealing to the public. In order to continue earning money, Smith began writing in less politically charged genres. She published a collection of tales, Letters of a Solitary Wanderer (1801–02) and the play What Is She? (1799, attributed). Her most successful new foray was into children’s literature: Rural Walks (1795), Rambles Farther (1796), Minor Morals (1798), and Conversations Introducing Poetry (1804). She also wrote two volumes of a history of England (1806) and A Natural History of Birds (1807, posthumous). She also returned to writing poetry and Beachy Head and Other Poems (1807) was published posthumously. Publishers did not pay as much for these works, however, and by 1803, Smith was poverty-stricken. She could barely afford food and had no coal. She even sold her beloved library of 500 books in order to pay off debts, but feared being sent to jail for the remaining £20. Illness and death Smith complained of gout for many years (it was probably rheumatoid arthritis), which made it increasingly difficult and painful for her to write. By the end of her life, it had almost paralyzed her. She wrote to a friend that she was “literally vegetating, for I have very little locomotive powers beyond those that appertain to a cauliflower”. On 23 February 1806, her husband died in a debtors’ prison and Smith finally received some of the money he owed her, but she was too ill to do anything with it. She died a few months later, on 28 October 1806, at Tilford and was buried at Stoke Church, Stoke Park, near Guildford. The lawsuit over her father-in-law’s estate was settled seven years later, on 22 April 1813, more than thirty-six years after Richard Smith’s death. Legacy Stuart Curran, the editor of Smith’s poems, has written that Smith is “the first poet in England whom in retrospect we would call Romantic”. She helped shape the “patterns of thought and conventions of style” for the period. Romantic poet William Wordsworth was the most affected by her works. He said of Smith in the 1830s that she was “a lady to whom English verse is under greater obligations than are likely to be either acknowledged or remembered”. By the second half of the 19th century, Smith was largely forgotten. Smith’s novels were republished again at the end of the 20th century, and “critics interested in the period’s women poets and prose writers, the Gothic novel, the historical novel, the social problem novel, and post-colonial studies” have argued for her significance as a writer. They looked to the contemporary documentation of her importance, discovering that she helped to revitalize the English sonnet, a fact recognized by Coleridge and others. Scott wrote that she “preserves in her landscapes the truth and precision of a painter” and poet and Barbauld claimed that Smith was the first to include sustained natural description in novels. It was not until 2008 however, that Smith’s entire prose collection became available to the general public. The edition contains each novel, the children’s stories and rural walks. Selected works Poetry * Elegiac Sonnets (1784) * The Emigrants (1793) * Beachy Head and Other Poems (1807) Novels * Emmeline; or The Orphan of the Castle (1788) * Ethelinde; or the Recluse of the Lake (1789) * Celestina (1791) * Desmond (1792) * The Old Manor House (1793) * The Wanderings of Warwick (1794) * The Banished Man (1794) * Montalbert (1795) * Marchmont (1796) * The Young Philosopher (1798) Educational works * Rural Walks (1795) * Rambles Farther (1796) * Minor Morals (1798) * Letters Of A Solitary Wanderer (1800) * Conversations Introducing Poetry (1804) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Turner_Smith




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