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Sir Maurice Bowra (Sir Cecil Maurice Bowra) Biography

(1898–1971), (Sir Cecil Maurice Bowra), Summoned by Bells, Tradition and Design in The Iliad

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British scholar and critic, born in Kiukiang, China, the son of a British customs commissioner, educated at New College, Oxford. In 1922 he became a fellow of Wadham College, where he remained in residence until his death. As warden of the college from 1938 to 1970, he was celebrated for his hospitality and unconventional good humour; John Betjeman recalls him with affection in Summoned by Bells (1960). His earlier works, which include Tradition and Design in The Iliad (1930) and Early Greek Elegists (1938), established his considerable reputation as an expositor of classical literature. The Heritage of Symbolism (1943) was the first of his numerous books on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and English poetry; among his subsequent studies, notable for their breadth of reference and interpretative skill, are The Creative Experiment (1949), on European poetry since 1912, Poetry and Politics, 1900–1960 (1966), and the collected essays of In General and Particular (1964). His later works as a Hellenist include Problems in Greek Poetry (1953) and a translation of The Odes of Pindar (1969). He was Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1946 to 1951. Memories, 1898–1939 (1966) is his autobiography.

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