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Richard Aldington (Richard Edward Godfree Aldington) Biography

(1892–1962), (Richard Edward Godfree Aldington), The Egoist, Images, Images of War

war world death novelist

British poet, novelist, and biographer, born in Hampshire, educated at University College, London. An early exponent of Imagism, he met Hilda Doolittle, whom he married in 1913, through his friendship with Ezra Pound. He became assistant editor of The Egoist in 1914. His experiences on the Western Front in the First World War engendered the deep embitterment which informs much of his later work. Images 19101915 (1915), his first collection of poetry, was followed by numerous volumes which include Images of War (1919), A Fool i' the Forest (1925), and The Crystal World (1937); a Complete Poems was published in 1948. He became widely known as a novelist with the quasi-autobiographical Death of a Hero (1929, abridged; Paris, 1930, unexpurgated), which follows the fortunes of its principal protagonist from his youth and unorthodox marriage to death in action in 1918. Among his other novels is Stepping Heavenward (1931), substantially a caricature of T. S. Eliot, who found it deeply offensive. During the Second World War, Aldington settled in the USA and began producing a series of biographies which include Wellington (1946); Portrait of a Genius, But… (1950), his disparaging treatment of D. H. Lawrence; and Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry (1955), which attacked its subject as an ‘impudent mythomaniac’. Life for Life's Sake (1941) is his autobiography. Richard Aldington: A Biography by Charles Doyle was published in 1989.

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