Lawrence Durrell


Lawrence George Durrell was born in Jullundur, Punjab, India, in 1912 to Lawrence Samuel Durrell and Louisa Florence Dixie, both of whom were also born in India.

In 1923, the family relocated to England where Durrell attended St Olave's and St Saviour's in Southwark before going to St Edmund's College, Canterbury, which he left in 1927. He despised the gloom of London and longed for the security of colonial superiority in India. After his father's death in 1928, he assumed a bohemian lifestyle in London, and attempted to make a name for himself as a poet.

Durrell's first book of poems, Quaint Fragment, was published in 1931, but it was not until the publication of his novel The Black Book in 1938 that he gained some recognition. He befriended other writers such as Henry Miller, Anais Nin, T. S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. In late 1938, Durrell arranged a dinner for Eliot and Miller which was also attended by M. J. Tambimuttu; Durrell entertained his guests with songs, one of which he dedicated to Tambimuttu. Durrell also contributed to the first issue of Tambimuttu's Poetry London. The two become good friends, and stayed in touch even after Durrell moved to Greece and later to Egypt. Tambimuttu included Durrell in his Poetry in Wartime (1942) and Durrell continued to contribute pieces for Poetry London.

Durrell only returned to England for short periods when he often met Tambimuttu. The two also met in New York after Tambimuttu moved there. Durrell's later years were marred by several divorces and the deaths of close friends. He spent his last years in France where he died on 7 November 1990.

Published works: 

Quaint Fragment (London: Cecil Press, 1931)

Ballad of Slow Decay (1932)

Ten Poems (London: Caduceus Press, 1932)

Pied Piper of Lovers (London: Cassell, 1935)

The Black Book: An Agon (Paris: Obelisk Press, 1938)

'Epitaph', 'Island Fugue', 'The Green Man', 'In a Time Crisis', and 'Letter to Seferis the Greek', in Poetry in Wartime: An Anthology, ed. by M. J. Tambimuttu (London: Faber & Faber, 1942), pp. 41-50

A Private Country (London: Faber & Faber, 1943)

Cities, Plains and People: Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1945)

Cefalu: A Novel (London: Editions Poetry London, 1947)

On Seeming to Presume: Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1948)

Deus Loci: A Poem (Ischia, 1950)

Sappho: A Play in Verse (London: Faber & Faber, 1950)

Key to Modern Poetry (London and New York: Peter Nevill, 1952)

The Tree of Idleness, and Other Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1955)

Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

Justine: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

White Eagles over Serbia: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

Balthazar (London: Faber & Faber, 1958)

The Dark Labyrinth (London: Harborough Publishing Co., 1958)

Mountolive (London: Faber & Faber, 1958)

Stiff Upper Lip (London: Faber & Faber, 1958)

Clea (London: Faber & Faber, 1959)

The Alexandria Quartet (London: Faber & Faber, 1962)

An Irish Faustus: A Morality in Nine Scenes (London: Faber & Faber, 1963)

A Persian Lady (Edinburgh: Tragara Press, 1963)

ACTE: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1965)

Tunc (London: Faber & Faber, 1968)

Nunquam (London: Faber & Faber, 1970)

The Red Limbo Lingo: A Poetry Notebook (London: Faber & Faber, 1971)

On the Suchness of the Old Boy (London: Turret Books, 1972)

The Plant-Magic Man (Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1973)

Monsieur, or, The Prince of Darkness (London: Faber & Faber, 1974)

The Revolt of Aphrodite (London: Faber & Faber, 1974)

Blue Thirst (Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1975)

Sicilian Carousel (London: Faber & Faber, 1977)

Livia, or, Buried Alive: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1978)

Sebastian, or, Ruling Passions: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1980)

A Smile in the Mind's Eye (London: Wildwood House, 1980)

Quinx, or, the Ripper's Tale: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1985)

Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence (London: Faber & Faber, 1990)

The Avignon Quintet (London: Faber & Faber, 1992)

Date of birth: 
27 Feb 1912

T. S. Eliot (edited his books at Faber & Faber), M. J. Tambimuttu, Dylan Thomas.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Delta (in which he published with Tambimuttu)

Poetry London

Secondary works: 

Aldington, Richard, Literary Lifelines: The Richard Aldington-Lawrence Durrell Correspondence, ed. by Ian S. MacNiven and Harry T. Moore (London: Faber & Faber, 1981)

Baldwin, Peter, Conon's Songs from Exile: The Limited Edition Publications of Lawrence Durrell (Birmingham: Delos, 1992)

Begnal, Michael H., On Miracle Ground: Essays on the Fiction of Lawrence Durrell (London: Associated University Presses, 1990)

Bowker, Gordon, Through the Dark Labyrinth: A Biography of Lawrence Durrell (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1996)

Cardiff, Maurice, Friends Abroad: Memories of Lawrence Durrell, Freya Stark, Patrick Leigh-Fermor, Peggy Gugenheim and Others (London: Radcliffe, 1997)

Durrell, Gerald, My Family and Other Animals (London: Hart-Davis, 1956)

Fraser, G. S., Lawrence Durrell: A Study (London: Faber & Faber, 1968)

Friedman, Alan Warren, Critical Essays on Lawrence Durrell (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987)

MacNiven, I. S., ‘Durrell, Lawrence George (1912–1990)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/39830]

MacNiven, I. S. (ed.) The Durrell-Miller Letters, 1935-80 (London: Faber & Faber, 1988)

MacNiven, I. S., Lawrence Durrell: A Biography (London: Faber & Faber, 1998)

Meredith, Don, Where the Tigers Were: Travels Through Literary Landscapes (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2000)

Moore, Harry T., The World of Lawrence Durrell (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962)

Papayanis, Marilyn Adler, Writing in the Margins: The Ethics of Expatriation from Lawrence to Ondaatje (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2005)

Perlès, Alfred, My Friend Lawrence Durrell: An Intimate Memoir on the Author of the Alexandria Quartet (Northwood: Scorpion Press, 1961)

Pine, Richard, Lawrence Durrell: The Mindscape (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994)

Robinson, Jeremy, Lawrence Durrell: Between Love and Death, Between East and West (Kidderminster: Crescent Moon, 1995)

Rook, Robin, At the Foot of the Acropolis: A Study of Lawrence Durrell's Novels (Birmingham: Delos Press, 1995)

Sajavaara, Kari, Imagery in Lawrence Durrell's Prose (Helsinki: Société Néophilologique, 1975)

Shaffer, Brian W., A Companion to the British and Irish Novel, 1945-2000 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) 

St. Joseph's College, A Century Observed: Souvenir of St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, 1888-1988 (Darjeeling: The College, 1988)

Vander Closter, Susan, Joyce Cary and Lawrence Durrell: A Reference Guide (Boston, MA: G. K. Hall, 1985)

Archive source: 

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Bibliothèque Lawrence Durrell, Université de Paris, Nanterre, France

Correspondence and Mss, incl. MS of Justine, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Gwyn Williams, British Library, St Pancras

Letters and literary Mss, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas

Literary Mss, University of California, Los Angeles

Correspondence and corrected proof of Balthazar, University of British Columbia, Canada

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Lawrence George Durrell

Date of death: 
07 Nov 1990
Location of death: 
Sommières, France
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
27 Apr 1923
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

27 April 1923 - 22 May 1939


36 Hillsborough Road, London

Tags for Making Britain: 

T. S. Eliot


Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St Louis, Missouri, USA, to Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Champe Stearns in 1888. He graduated from Smith Academy, St Louis, in 1905 before studying for a year at Milton Academy, outside Boston, and eventually following his brother to Harvard in 1906. He attained a BA in Comparative Literature in 1909 and an MA in English literature in 1910. From 1910-1911 he studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, before returning to his graduate studies in philosophy at Harvard the following year. As part of his studies there he took courses in Pali and Sanskrit, and on Hindu thought. He also met Bertrand Russell at Harvard.

In the summer of 1914, Eliot went to London on a travelling fellowship. There, he immediately struck up a friendship with Conrad Aiken and Ezra Pound, and in 1915 he was introduced to Vivienne Haigh-Wood whom he married in June of that year. He spent the next years teaching in High Wycombe and Highgate, London, until his first book, Prufrock and Other Observations, was published in 1917. His long poem The Waste Land (1922) consolidated his Modernist breakthrough.

Bertrand Russell introduced Eliot to Lady Ottoline Morrell and the people surrounding Garsington Manor such as Aldous Huxley, D. H. Lawrence, Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry, James Joyce and, later, Mulk Raj Anand. In Conversations in Bloomsbury (1981), Anand relates how he first met Eliot at a sherry party at Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop; also present was Nikhil Sen. By this time, Eliot was the editor of the literary journal Criterion and wanted Anand to to do some work for him. Anand describes more meetings with Eliot in the Criterion office where they would often talk about religion and writing. In 1925, Eliot was made literary editor of Faber & Gwyer (later Faber & Faber). He drew coloser to Christianity, and in 1927 he was baptised into the Church of England. Later that year he became a British citizen.

In the 1930s, Eliot focused less on his own writing and became primarily a cultural critic. After the Second World War he gave up writing poetry altogether and turned his attention to plays and literary essays. In the 1940s, he asked the Ceylonese poet and editor Meary James Tambimuttu to edit the anthology Poetry in Wartime (1942) for Faber. Eliot was a support of Tambimuttu's successful magazine Poetry London. He said of it: 'It is only in Poetry London that I can consistently expect to find new poets who matter' (back cover of Poetry London).

In 1948, Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature and was awarded the Order of Merit. In his later years, he assumed a more reclusive lifestyle, sharing a flat with his friend John Hayward in Carlyle Mansions on the Chelsea Embankment, until his marriage to his second wife Valerie Fletcher in 1957 . He died on 4 January 1965 of emphysema at his home in London.

Published works: 

Prufrock and other Observations (London: The Egoist, 1917)

Harvard College Class of 1910: Secretary's 4th Report (Cambridge: Printed for the Class, [1920]), pp. 107-108 (includes a brief autobiographical record by T. S. Eliot)

Ara Vus Prec (London: Ovid Press, 1920)

The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (London: Methuen, 1920)

The Waste Land (London: Hogarth Press; New York: Boni & Liveright, 1922) 

Homage to John Dryden: Three Essays on Poetry of the Seventeenth Century (London: L. & V. Woolf, 1924)

Journey of the Magi (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927)

Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (London, 1927)

For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on Style and Order (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1928)

Dante (London: Faber & Faber, 1929)

Ash Wednesday (London: Faber & Faber, 1930) 

Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (London: Faber & Faber, 1932) 

Sweeney Agonistes; Fragments of a Aristophanic Melodrama (London: Faber & Faber, 1932)

The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism: Studies in the Relation of Criticism to Poetry in England (London: Faber & Faber, 1933)

After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy (London: Faber & Faber, 1934)

Elizabethan Essays (London: Faber & Faber, 1934)

The Rock (London: Faber & Faber, 1934)

Murder in the Cathedral (London: Faber & Faber, 1935)

Collected Poems, 1909-1935 (London: Faber & Faber, 1936)

Essays Ancient and Modern (London: Faber & Faber, 1936)

The Family Reunion: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1939)

The Idea of a Christian Society (London: Faber & Faber, 1939)

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (London: Faber & Faber, 1939)

(ed.) A Choice of Kipling's Verse (London: Faber & Faber, 1941)

Four Quartets (London: Faber & Faber, 1944)

Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (London: Faber & Faber, 1948)

The Cocktail Party: A Comedy (London: Faber & Faber, 1950)

Poetry and Drama...The Theodore Spencer Memorial Lecture, Harvard University, November 21, 1950 (London: Faber & Faber, 1951)

The Three Voices of Poetry (London: Cambridge University Press, 1953)

The Confidential Clerk: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1954)

The Frontiers of Criticism...A Lecture Delivered at the University of Minnesota Williams Arena on April 30, 1956 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1956)

On Poetry and Poets (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

The Elder Statesman: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1959)

To Criticize the Critic, and Other Writings (London: Faber & Faber, 1965)

The Letters of T. S. Eliot, ed. by Valerie Eliot, Vol. 1, 1898-1922 (London: Faber, 1988)

Date of birth: 
26 Sep 1888

Mulk Raj Anand, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Mark Gertler, Aldous Huxley, D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Bertrand Russell, Nikhil Sen, Lytton Strachey, Purohit Swami, M. J. Tambimuttu, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf.

Contributions to periodicals: 

'A Sceptical Patrician', Athenaeum 46.7 (1919), pp. 361-2

Secondary works: 

Ackroyd, Peter, T. S. Eliot (London: Hamilton, 1984)

Aiken, Conrad, Ushant: An Essay (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1952; Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1952)

Anand, Mulk Raj, Conversations in Bloomsbury (London: Wildwood House, 1981) 

Browne, Elliott Martin, The Making of T. S. Eliot's Plays (London: Cambridge University Press, 1969)

Bush, Ronald, 'Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1888-1965)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/32993]

Bush, Ronald, T. S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984) 

Gallup, Donald Clifford, A Bibliographical Check-List of the Writing of T. S. Eliot (London: Faber & Faber, 1952)

Gordon, Lyndall, Eliot's New Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988)

Gordon, Lyndall, T. S. Eliot's Early Years (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977)

Hall, D., 'The Art of Poetry: I, T. S. Eliot', Paris Review 21 (1959), pp. 47-70

Howarth, Herbert, Notes on Some Figures Behind T. S. Eliot (London: Chatto & Windus, 1965)

Jain, Manju, T. S. Eliot and American Philosophy: The Harvard Years (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)

Julius, Anthony, T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Kenner, Hugh, The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot (London: W. H. Allen, 1960)

Kenner, Hugh, T. S. Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1962)

Levy, William Turner, Affectionately, T. S. Eliot: The Story of a Friendship, 1947-1965 (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1968)

March, Richard and Tambimuttu, M. J., T. S. Eliot: A Symposium edited by Tambimuttu and Richard March (London: Editions Poetry London, 1948) 

Matthews, Thomas Stanley, Great Tom: Notes Toward the Definition of T. S. Eliot (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974)

Mayer, John T., T. S. Eliot's Silent Voices (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989)

Moody, A. David, The Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

Pound, Ezra, The Selected Letters of Ezra Pound, 1907-1941 (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1950)

Raine, Craig, In Defence of T. S. Eliot (London: Picador, 2000)

Raine, Craig, T. S. Eliot (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Ricks, Beatrice, T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography of Secondary Works (Metuchen, NJ, and London: Scarecrow Press, 1980)

Ricks, Christopher, T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (London: Faber & Faber, 1988)

Sencourt, Robert, T. S. Eliot: A Memoir (London: Garnstone Press, 1971)

Shivpuri, Jagdish, Six Modern English Poets (New Delhi: S. Chand & Co., 1973)

Soldo, John Joseph Daniel, The Tempering of T. S. Eliot, 1888-1915 (Harvard University Press, 1972)

Spender, Stephen, Eliot (London: Fontana, 1975)

Tate, John Orley Allen, T. S. Eliot: The Man and His Work (London: Chatto & Windus, 1967)

Tomlin, E. W. F., T. S. Eliot: A Friendship (London: Routledge, 1988)

Tratner, Michael, Modernism and Mass Politics: Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Yeats (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995)

Woolf, Virginia, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, vol. 2, 1920-1924, ed. by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew MacNeillie (London: Hogarth Press, 1978)

Archive source: 

MSS and letters, Boston Public Library, Massachusetts

MSS and letters, Olin Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Correspondence, literary MSS and papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University

MSS and letters, Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Correspondence, literary MSS and papers, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Papers, Magdalene College, Cambridge

Letters, Merton College, Oxford

Papers, Milton Academy Library, Massachusetts

Literary MSS and papers, New York Public Library

MSS and letters, Princeton University Library, New Jersey

Correspondence and literary MSS, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas

Eliot family papers, Reed College, Oregon

MSS and letters, E. H. Butler Library, State University of New York, Buffalo

Papers relating to the Moot, University of London

Correspondence relating to trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover, University of Bristol

MSS and letters, University of Chicago Library

Papers, University of Maryland

Correspondence, Mcpherson Library, University of Victoria

Letters to A. D. Lindsay, Balliol College, Oxford

Correspondence with G. K. Chesterton, Add. MS 73195, fols. 60-69, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to S. S. Koteliansky, Add. MS 48974, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Margaret Nason of the Bindery tea shop, dep. 9935, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Sydney Schiff and Violet Schiff, Add. MS 52918, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Tandy family, Manuscript Collection, British Library, St Pancras

Vivien Eliot papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Letters to Helen Gardner, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Correspondence with Monty Belgion, Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge

Letters to Harman Grisewood relating to David Jones, Lauinger Library, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

University Archives, Harvard University

Letters to T. Bosanquet, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Letters to E. Martin and Henzie Browne, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Conrad Aiken Papers, Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Letters to John Maynard Keynes, Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge

Letters to G. H. W. Rylands, Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge

Correspondence with Bertrand Russell, William Reedy Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Correspondence with John Dover Wilson, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Correspondence with David Jones, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

John Quinn Papers, New York Public Library

Virginia Woolf Papers, New York Public Library

Emily Hale Papers, Firestone Library, Princeton University, New Jersey

Paul Elmer More Papers, Firestone Library, Princeton University, New Jersey

Allen Tate Papers, Firestone Library, Princeton University, New Jersey

Marianne Moore Collection, Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia

Emily Hale Papers, Scripps College, California

Correspondence with Lord Clark, Tate Collection

Letters to Patricia Hutchins, Trinity College, Dublin

Correspondence with Thomas McGreevy, Trinity College, Dublin

Correspondence mainly with Maurice Reckitt, University of Sussex Special Collections

Correspondence with Leonard Woolf, University of Sussex Special Collections

Correspondence with Virginia Woolf (copies), University of Sussex Special Collections

Special Collections, University of Chicago

Ezra Pound Papers, University of Indiana

William Greenleaf Eliot Papers, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri

Ezra Pound Papers, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Osborn Collection, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Letters to William Force Stead, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Film, BBC Written Archives Centre, Reading

Film, Harvard Film Service, Harvard University

Documentary recordings, National Sound Archive, British Library

Performance recordings, National Sound Archive, British Library

Harvard College Library, Harvard University

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

City of birth: 
St Louis
Country of birth: 
United States of America
Other names: 

Thomas Stearns Eliot

Date of death: 
04 Jan 1965
Location of death: 
3 Kensington Court Gardens, London
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
03 Aug 1914
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

3 August 1914 - September 1932, June 1933-1965


3 Kensington Court Gardens, London

Grenville Place, St Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road, London

Balachandra Rajan


Balachandra Rajan was a scholar of poetry and poetics. He was Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, 1944–8. He was the editor of a series of slim volumes on literary criticism titled Focus which had at least four issues between 1945 and 1948 and was published by Dennis Dobson. The series had its beginnings at Cambridge, where Rajan co-edited (with Wolf Mankowitz) a collection of criticism titled Sheaf which was published by the university, and authored his own collection of poems, Monsoon and Other Poems. While in Britain, he also contributed poems to literary journals, including Life and Letters Today and Poetry London (indeed he was possibly the only South Asian to contribute to the latter, with the exception of its editor, Tambimuttu). Focus appeared to engage critically with work by some of the big literary names of the day, including Huxley, Sartre, Isherwood and Kafka. Contributors of essays include Kathleen Raine, D. S. Savage and Julian Symons, with poems by e. e. cummings, George Barker, John Heath-Stubbs and Vernon Watkins, as well as Rajan himself.

In 1948, Rajan left England for India where he served in the Indian Foreign Service until 1961, working also with UNESCO, UNICEF and as part of the Indian delegation to the United Nations. Later, he returned to academia, initially at the University of Delhi, before taking up a post at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Best known for his work on Milton, Rajan completed a critical book on Paradise Lost as well as an edition (with introduction and commentary) of this canonical work. He also wrote on Spenser, Yeats, Marvell, Eliot, Keats and Macaulay, and completed two novels.

Published works: 

(ed.) The Novelist as Thinker (London: Dennis Dobson, 1942)

Monsoon and Other Poems (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1943)

(ed. with Wolf Mankovitz) Sheaf (Cambridge: Trinity College, n.d. [1944?])

(ed. with Andrew Pearse) Focus One (London: Dennis Dobson, 1945)

(ed. with Andrew Pearse) Focus Two (London: Dennis Dobson, 1946)

Paradise Lost and the Seventeenth Century Reader (London: Chatto, 1947)

(ed.)  Focus Three (London: Dennis Dobson, 1947)

(ed.)  Focus Four (London: Dennis Dobson, 1948)

(ed.) Modern American Poetry (London: Dennis Dobson, 1950)

The Dark Dancer (London: Simon & Schuster, 1958)

Too Long in the West (London: Atheneum, 1962)

(ed.) Paradise Lost (Books 1 and 2) (London: Asia Publishing House, 1964)

W. B. Yeats: A Critical Introduction (London: Hutchinson University Library, 1965)

(ed.) Paradise Lost: A Tercentenary Tribute (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969)

The Lofty Rhyme: A Study of Milton’s Major Poetry (London: Routledge, 1970)

The Overwhelming Question: A Study of the Poetry of T. S. Eliot (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976)

The Form of the Unfinished: English Poetics from Spenser to Pound (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985)

Under Western Eyes: India from Milton to Macaulay (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999)

Milton and the Climate of Reading: Essays (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006)

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1920

e. e. cummings, Fredoon Kabraji, Wolf Mankowitz, Andrew Pearse, Kathleen Raine, D. S. Savage, Julian Symons, M. J. Tambimuttu.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Asian Horizon (poems published)

Life and Letters Today (poems published)

New Statesman and Nation (wrote reviews)

Poetry London (poems published)

Precise DOB unknown: 
Country of birth: 


Trinity College Cambridge, CB2 1TQ
United Kingdom
52° 10' 21.3528" N, 0° 6' 40.3992" E
Date of death: 
23 Jan 2009
Location of death: 
Western Ontario, Canada
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1944
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

c. 1944-8


Trinity College, Cambridge

Sarojini Naidu


A student at King’s College, London, and Girton College, Cambridge in the early 1890s, and a writer of precocious if imitative verse, Naidu was feted in London in the 1900s as the poet of an exoticized India.

From a Bengali family based in Hyderabad, Naidu was sent to Britain in 1895 on the Nizam's scholarship on the strength of her poetry. She was then not married and known as Sarojini Chattopadhyaya. However, she had already embarked on a romantic relationship with Dr Govindarajalu Naidu, in Hyderabad, who had studied medicine at Edinburgh; her father, Aghorenath Chattopadhyaya had also been a student at Edinburgh University.

She became the ward of Elizabeth Manning, the Secretary of the National Indian Association, whose step-mother had been involved in the foundation of Girton College, Cambridge. Naidu was heavily influenced by the poets Edmund Gosse, Arthur Symons and W. B. Yeats. Particularly interesting accounts of her very early Europeanized work appear as the introductions to her second and third collections, by Arthur Symons, and Edmund Gosse respectively. Her poetry also appeared in the Savoy. Appearances and readings by Naidu in the 1900s were reported in the Indian Magazine.

Naidu returned to India in 1898, beset by ill-health, that dogged her throughout her life. She maintained correspondence with poets in Britain but also embarked on a political career. Her returns to Britain were marked by poetry readings and receptions, convalescence in British nursing homes, as well as political rallies and meetings. She joined the Indian National Congress in 1904 and was vocal about women's rights. She gave evidence in 1919 to a Select Committee in favour of the women's vote in India. She also had a public confrontation with Edwin Montagu over the Amritsar Massacre. Naidu had met M. K. Gandhi in London in 1914 and became very close to him. She accompanied him on the famous Dandi salt march and accompanied him to the Round Table Conference in 1931. Naidu was appointed Governer of United Provinces in 1947 and died in office in February 1949.

Published works: 

Songs (1895)

The Golden Threshold (William Heinemann, 1905)

The Bird of Time (William Heinemann, 1912)

The Broken Wing (1917).

Also nationalist speeches, for an extract see Susie Tharu and K. Lalita, Women Writing in India, Vol. 1 (1991)

Date of birth: 
13 Feb 1879
Contributions to periodicals: 

Journal of the National Indian Association / Indian Magazine and Review

The Modern Review

'Eastern Dancers', Savoy (1896)


The Academy

The Athenaeum

The Bookman

Manchester Guardian


Saturday Review

The Speaker

Secondary works: 

Boehmer, Elleke, ‘East is East’ in Stories of Women: Gender and Nationalism in the Postcolonial Nation (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005), pp. 158-171

Banerjee, Hasi, Sarojini Naidu: The Traditional Feminist (Calcutta: K. P. Baghci & Co., 1998)

Baig, Tara Ali, Sarojini Naidu (New Delhi: Government of India, 1974)

Paranjape, Makarand (ed.), Sarojini Naidu: Selected Letters 1890s to 1940s (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1996)

Raychaudhuri, Tapan, ‘Naidu , Sarojini (1879–1949)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2010) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/47743]

Sengupta, Padmini, Sarojini Naidu: A Biography (Delhi: Asia Publishing House, 1966)

Sturgeon, Mary C., Studies of Contemporary Poets (London: Harrap & Co., 1920)

Archive source: 

Photo of Naidu as the little ‘Indian princess’ appears in Maud Gonne’s The Servant of the Queen

Mss Eur A95, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Mss Eur F341/152 (notes on Naidu in Geraldine Forbes collection), Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

National Archives of India, Delhi

Nehru Memorial Library, Delhi

Involved in events: 

Poetry readings, London, 1900s

Second Round Table Conference, 1931

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

née Chattopadhyaya


Girton College Cambridge, CB3 0JG
United Kingdom
52° 13' 42.168" N, 0° 4' 41.8332" E
Date of death: 
01 Feb 1949
Location of death: 
United Provinces, India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1895
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1895-8 (as a student), 1905 (book tour of Britain for The Golden Threshold), 1912-14, 1919-21 (with All India Home Rule League), 1931 (Second Round Table Conference with M. K. Gandhi).

Tags for Making Britain: 

Govinda Krishna Chettur


G. K. Chettur, arrived to study at New College, Oxford, in October 1918, just before the Armistice. He had been educated at Madras Christian College and his father, P. K. Krishna Menon, had been a Government Servant. Funding for his studies at Oxford were supplied by Sir C. Senkaramhair from Simla. He graduated with a Third in history in 1921.

Chettur was a member of the Lotus Club and the Oxford Majlis (he was President in Hilary Term, 1920) and was able to meet Rabindranath Tagore and W. B. Yeats through these societies. Yeats spoke to the Majlis in November 1919 on the poet Manmohan Ghose and Chettur obtained a photo of Yeats in his New College room. Chettur published his first anthology of poems in 1922 with a dedication to Yeats, and was inspired by Yeats to publish his memories of his students days. During his time in Oxford, Chettur met a number of other poets based in Oxford and Sarojini Naidu, who made frequent visits to Oxford. His publications were reviewed in the British Press.

During his student days, Chettur saw the play 'Tilly of Bloomsbury' by Ian Hay, where an Indian student was depicted as a humiliating figure. Chettur was so angry and offended by this portrayal that he wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor in complaint. Chettur was principal of the Government College in Mangalore from 1922 and continued to write and publish poetry in India.

Published works: 

Sounds and Images (London: Erskine Macdonald, 1922)

Gumataraya (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1932)

The Temple Tank and Other Poems (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1932)

The Triumph of Love (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1932)

The Last Enchantment: Recollections of Oxford (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1934) [Majority first contributed to the Madras Mail, 1921-2]

The Shadow of God: A Sonnet-Sequence (London: Longmans, Green and Co., Ltd, 1935)

Date of birth: 
24 Apr 1898

Edmund Blunden, Winifred Casson, Eric Dickinson, Robert Graves, Louis Golding, Vachell Lindsay, John Masefield, Sarojini Naidu, Sankaran Nair (uncle), Robert Nichols, W. F. Stead, Arthur Symons, Rabindranath Tagore, William Butler Yeats.


Aberdeen Mail

Christian World

Daily Express

London Mercury

London Times Literary Supplement

Modern Review

Secondary works: 

Selected Poetry of Govinda Krishna Chettur: http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poet/391.html

Involved in events: 

Attended Indian Students' Conference, 1918.

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 


New College Oxford, OX1 3BN
United Kingdom
51° 45' 15.5232" N, 1° 15' 5.4864" W
Date of death: 
03 Mar 1936
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Oct 1918
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1918-21 (Oxford)

Tags for Making Britain: 

Laurence Binyon


Laurence Binyon was a poet, critic, artist, dramatist and curator. He worked in the British Museum from 1892 till his retirement in 1933 and was instrumental in promoting Asian Art in the Museum. He was introduced to Indian literature and philosophy by the poet Manmohan Ghose. They met as schoolboys at St Paul's School, in a seventh form English class when Ghose quoted Othello in class. They became fast friends, bonding over their love for poety and Classics and admiration of Matthew Arnold. Binyon followed Ghose to Oxford in 1888 (Ghose had joined in 1887) and they were involved in producing a short selection of poems under the title of Primavera in 1890, which was among others, reviewed favourably by Oscar Wilde in the Pall Mall Gazette.

In 1910, Binyon became involved with the India Society in London, designed to promote Indian Fine Art. Binyon became friends with the art-historian Ananda Coomaraswamy, who introduced him to Rajput paintings. In June 1912, Binyon met Rabindranath Tagore at William Rothenstein's house and held an admiration for Tagore that lasted until his death. Binyon had been introduced to the work of Tagore by Manmohan Ghose who had returned to India in 1894 but maintained a correspondence for some years - providing inspiration for Binyon's poem 'Asoka' or 'The Indian Prince' in 1900. When Ghose died in 1924, his daughter, Lotika, came to England to meet Binyon and show him her father's manuscripts. This inspired Binyon to write an introductory memoir for an edition of Ghose's poems that was published in 1926 under the title Songs of Love and Death.

Shortly before the Armistice, in November 1918, Binyon met Kedar Nath Das Gupta in London. Das Gupta, a friend of Tagore's, was organizer of the Union of the East and West. He had prepared a rough translation of Sakuntala, which he wished to put on the stage; Binyon agreed to rewrite Kalidasa's play for the stage, and two performances were put on in November 1919, produced by Lewis Casson and starring Sybil Thorndike. In 1920, Binyon gave the inaugural address for the Indian Students' Union and Hostel opened in Gower Street. Another connection to India was realized through Binyon's introduction to the Indian artist, Mukul Dey's My Pilgrimages to Ajanta and Bagh (London: Thornton & Butterworth, 1925). Binyon did not manage to visit India in his lifetime, despite the desires he expressed to the Oxford Majlis society in 1929. Upon his death in 1943, the Oxford Majlis passed a resolution in honour of Binyon as a 'lifelong friend' of India.

Published works: 

(with Stephen Phillips, Manmohan Ghose and Arthur Cripps) Primavera: Poems by Four Authors (Oxford: Blackwells, 1890)

(with Kedar Nath Das Gupta) Sakuntala (London: Macmillan & Co., 1920)

See Manmohan Ghose, Collected Poems. Volume I: Early Poems and Letters, edited by Lotika Ghose (University of Calcutta, 1970) for an introductory memoir by Laurence Binyon and a pencil sketch of Ghose aged 23 by Binyon



From Introductory Memoir to Manmohan Ghose, Collected Poems. Volume 1 (1970), pp. xv-xvi.

Date of birth: 
10 Aug 1869

Laurence Binyon remembering Manmohan Ghose.


Atul ChatterjeeHarindranath Chattopadhyaya, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Arthur Cripps (poet-missionary, contributor to Primavera), Kedar Nath Das Gupta, Mukul Dey, Manmohan Ghose, John Masefield, Henry Newbolt, Stephen Phillips (cousin, contributer to Primavera), Ezra PoundWilliam RothensteinRabindranath Tagore, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Indian Art and Letters

Monthly Review

Saturday Review


Circumstances had prevented him from being like Rabindra Nath Tagore, an interpreter of the West to India. He admired the Bengali language, but it seemed to him lacking in a certain quality which he found in English. No Indian had ever before used our tongue with so poetic a touch, and he would coin a phrase, turn a noun into a verb with the freedom, often the felicity of our own poets. But he remains Indian. I do not think that an Indian reader would feel him as a foreign poet, for all his western tastes and allusions. Yet to use he is a voice among the great company of English singers; somewhat apart and solitary, with a difference in his note, but not an echo.

Secondary works: 

Hatcher, John, Laurence Binyon: Poet, Scholar of East and West (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995)

Gandhi, Leela, Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought and the Politics of Friendship (New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2006)


The friendship between Laurence Binyon and Manmohan Ghose that began at St Paul's School, was a huge influence on both individuals. Ghose introduced Indian thought and philosophy to Binyon. Laurence Binyon was interested in the 'nationality' of Ghose's verse. Binyon believed that Ghose's English verse suffered when he returned to India as he no longer had the 'nourishment' of English surroundings, but also that Ghose was an Indian poet at heart despite his Western upbringing.

Archive source: 

Letters to Binyon (including one from Harindranath Chattopadhyaya, and letters from Manmohan Ghose), and a few letters from Laurence Binyon to various correspondents and other unpublished manuscripts, Loan Collection 103, Manuscript Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Letters from Binyon to William Rothenstein, Mss Eur B213, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Involved in events: 

Performances of 'Sakuntala', Winter Garden Theatre, November 1919.

Inauguration of Indian Students' Union and Hostel, Gower Street, 1920.


City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Robert Laurence Binyon

Date of death: 
10 Mar 1943
Location of death: 
Reading, England


Subscribe to RSS - poet