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Famous Like Me > Writer > A > Richard Aldington

Profile of Richard Aldington on Famous Like Me

Name: Richard Aldington  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 8th July 1892
Place of Birth: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Richard Aldington in uniform during World War I

Richard Aldington (July 8, 1892 – July 27, 1962), name at birth Edward Godfree Aldington, was an English writer and poet. He was best known for his World War I poetry and the novel Death of a Hero.


Aldington was born in Portsmouth and educated at Dover College and the University of London; he was unable to complete his degree because of the financial circumstances of his family. He met the poet H.D. in 1911 and they married two years later.

His poetry belongs to the Imagist school, and his work forms almost half of the pivotal collection Des Imagistes (1912). At this time he was one of the poets around the proto-Imagist T. E. Hulme; Robert Ferguson in his life of Hulme portrays Aldington as too squeamish to approve of Hulme's robust approach, particularly to women. He knew Wyndham Lewis well, also, reviewing his work in The Egoist at this time, hanging a Lewis portfolio around the room and (on a similar note of tension between the domestic and the small circle of London modernists) regretting having lent Lewis his razor when the latter announced with hindsight a venereal infection (Paul O'Keefe, Some Sort of Genius, p.164). Going out without a hat, and an interest in Fabian socialism, were perhaps unconventional enough for him (John Paterson, Edwardians).

In 1915 the couple moved within London, away from Holland Park very near Ezra Pound and Dorothy, to Hampstead, close to D. H. Lawrence and Frieda. The relationship became strained by the very obvious mutual interest of H.D. and D. H., and the stillborn birth of her child. Between 1914 and 1916 he was literary editor of The Egoist . He served on the Western Front in 1916–18, and never completely recovered from the experience. Aldington finally divorced H.D. in 1938, though they had been separated since the early years of the First World War and he had been in several subsequent long-term relationships; they remained friends, though, for the rest of their lives.

He made an effort with The Fool I' the Forest (1924) to reply to the new style of poetry launched by The Waste Land. He was being published at the time, for example in The Chapbook, but clearly took on much hack work just to live. His interest in poetry waned.

Death of a Hero, published in 1929 was his literary response to the war, commended by Lawrence Durrell as 'the best war novel of the epoch'. He went on to publish several works of fiction. In 1930 he published a bawdy translation of The Decameron. In 1942, having moved to the United States with his new wife Netta Patmore, he began to write biographies. The first was one of Wellington (The Duke: Being an Account of the Life & Achievements of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, 1943) . It was followed by works on D. H. Lawrence (Portrait of a Genius, But..., 1950), Robert Louis Stevenson (Portrait of a Rebel, 1957), and T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Inquiry, 1955). His biography of Lawrence made many controversial assertions now acknowledged to be true, but its iconoclastic nature was a blow to his own popularity in England, from which his reputation has never fully recovered.

He could write with an acid pen. The Georgian poets, who (Pound had decided) were the Imagists' sworn enemies, he devastated with the accusation of a little trip for a little weekend to a little cottage where they wrote a little poem on a little theme. He took swipes at Harold Monro, whose Poetry Review had published him and given himm reviewing work. Alec Waugh (The Early Years) described him as embittered by the war, and offered Douglas Goldring as comparison; but took it that he worked off his spleen in novels like The Colonel's Daughter (1931), rather than letting it poison his life. His novels in fact contained thinly-veiled, disconcerting (at least to the subjects) portraits of some of his friends (T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Pound in particular), the friendship not always surviving. Lyndall Gordon characterises the sketch of Eliot in the memoirs Life for Life's Sake (1941) as 'snide'. As a young man he enjoyed being cutting about W. B. Yeats, but remained on good enough terms to visit him in later years at Rapallo.

Aldington died in France in 1962.


  • Images (1910 – 1915) (1915) as Images - Old and New (1916) (US)
  • The Poems of Anyte of Tegea (1916) translator
  • Images of Desire (Elkin Mathews, 1919)
  • Images of War (1919)
  • War and Love: Poems 1915-1918 (1919)
  • Greek Songs in the Manner of Anacreon (1919) translator
  • A Book of 'Characters' from Theophrastus, Joseph Hall, Sir Thomas Overbury, Nicolas Breton, John Earle
  • Hymen (Egoist Press, 1921) with H. D.
  • Medallions in Clay (1921)
  • The Good-Humoured Ladies: A Comedy by Carlo Goldoni (1922) translator, with Arthur Symons
  • Exile and other poerms (1923)
  • Literary Studies and Reviews (1924) essays
  • Sturly by Pierre Custot (1924) translator
  • The Mystery of the Nativity:Translated from the Liegeois of the XVth Century (Medici Society, 1924) translator
  • A Fool I' the Forest: A Phantasmagoria (1924)
  • Voltaire (1925)
  • French Studies and Reviews (1926)
  • The Love of Myrrhine and Konallis: and other prose poems (1926)
  • Cyrano De Bergerac, Voyages to the Moon and the Sun (1927)
  • D. H. Lawrence: An Indiscretion (1927)
  • Letters of Madame De Sevigné (1927) translator
  • Letters Of Voltaire And Frederick The Great (1927) translator
  • Candide and Other Romances by Voltaire (1928) translator with Norman Tealby
  • Collected Poems (1928)
  • Fifty Romance Lyric Poems (1928) translator
  • Rémy De Gourmont: Selections. (1928) translator
  • Death of a Hero: A Novel (1929)
  • The Eaten Heart (Hours Press, 1929) poems
  • A Dream in the Luxembourg: A Poem (1930)
  • The Memoirs and Correspondence of Mme. D'Epinay (1930) translator
  • Euripedes' Alcestis (1930) translator
  • At All Costs (1930)
  • D. H. Lawrence: A Brief and Inevitably Fragmentary Impression (1930)
  • Last Straws (1930)
  • Medallions from Anyte of Tegea, Meleager of Gadara, the Anacreontea, Latin Poets of the Renaissance (1930) translator
  • The Memoirs of Marmontel (1930) editor, with Brigit Patmore
  • Roads to Glory (1930) stories
  • Tales from the Decameron (1930) translator
  • Two Stories (Elkin Mathews, 1930)
  • Letters to the Amazon by Rémy de Gourmont (1931) translator
  • Balls and Another Book for Suppression (1931)
  • The Colonel's Daughter: A Novel (1931)
  • Stepping Heavenward: A Record (1931) satire aimed at T. S. Eliot
  • Aurelia by Gérard de Nerval (1932) translator
  • Soft Answers (1932) five short novels
  • All Men Are Enemies: A Romance (1933)
  • Last Poems of D. H. Lawrence (1933) edited with Giuseppe Orioli
  • Poems of Richard Aldington (1934)
  • Women Must Work: A Novel (1934)
  • Artifex: Sketches And Ideas (1935) essays
  • D. H. Lawrence (1935)
  • The Spirit of Place (1935), editor, D. H. Lawrence prose anthology
  • Life Quest (1935) poem
  • Life of a Lady: A Play in Three Acts (1936) with Derek Patmore
  • The Crystal World (1937)
  • Very Heaven (1937)
  • Seven Against Reeves: A Comedy-Farce (1938) novel
  • Rejected Guest (1939) novel
  • W. Somerset Maugham; An Appreciation (1939)
  • Life for Life's Sake: Memories Of A Vanished England & A Changing World, By One Who Was Bohemian, Poet, Soldier, Novelist & Wanderer (1941) memoir
  • Poetry of the English-Speaking World (1941) anthology, editor
  • A Wreath For San Gemignano (1945) sonnets of Folgore di San Gemignano
  • A Life of Wellington: The Duke (1946)
  • Great French Romances (1946) novels by Madame De Lafayette, Choderlos De Laclos, the Abbe Prévost, Honoré de Balzac
  • Oscar Wilde Selected Works (1946) editor
  • The Romance of Casanova: A Novel (1946)
  • Complete Poems (1948)
  • Four English Portraits 1801-1851 (1948)
  • Selected Works of Walter Pater (1948)
  • Jane Austen (1948)
  • Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio (two volumes) (1949) translator
  • The Strange Life of Charles Waterton 1782-1865 (1949)
  • A Bibliography of the Works of Richard Aldington from 1915 to 1948 (1950) with Alister Kershaw
  • Selected Letters of D. H. Lawrence (1950) editor
  • An Appreciation: D. H. Lawrence 1885 – 1930 (1950) also as D. H. Lawrence Portrait of a Genius But...
  • The Religion of Beauty: Selections From The Aesthetes (1950) anthology, editor
  • Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, A Lecture (Peacocks Press, 1954)
  • Lawrence L'Imposteur: T.E. Lawrence, The Legend and the Man (1954) Paris edition, later title Lawrence of Arabia, A Biographical Enquiry (1955)
  • Pinorman: Personal Recollections of Norman Douglas, Pino Orioli & Charles Prentice (1954)
  • A. E. Housman & W. B. Yeats: Two Lectures (Hurst Press, 1955)
  • Introduction to Mistral (1956)
  • Frauds (1957)
  • Portrait of a Rebel: The Life and Work of Robert Louis Stevenson (1957)
  • The Viking Book of Poetry of the English-Speaking World Volume II (1958) editor
  • Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (1960) translator with Delano Ames
  • Switzerland (1960)
  • Famous Cities of the World: Rome (1960)
  • A Tourist's Rome
  • Richard Aldington : Selected Critical Writing, 1928-1960 (1970) edited by Alister Kershaw
  • A Passionate Prodigality: Letters to Alan Bird from Richard Aldington, 1949-1962 (1975) edited by Miriam J. Benkovitz
  • Literary Lifelines: The Richard Aldington and Lawrence Durrell Correspondence (1981)
  • In Winter: A Poem (Typographeum Press, 1987)
  • Austria
  • France
  • Italy

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Richard Aldington