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Richard Thomas Church Biography

(1893–1972), The Flood of Life, The Dream, News From the Mountain, The Burning Bush

verse poet volumes novelist

British poet and novelist, born in London, educated at Dulwich Hamlet School. He was a civil servant from 1909 to 1933, when he became a publisher's reader. The Flood of Life, his first collection of verse, appeared in 1917; some seventeen further volumes included The Dream (1922), News From the Mountain (1932), and The Burning Bush (1967). Church's poetry reflects his belief in the poet's duty to frame accessible affirmations of permanent human values. Meditation, emotion, and observation combine to Wordsworthian effect in his best work. With the exception of the free verse of Mood Without Measure (1928), he almost invariably used traditional verse forms. His career as a novelist began with Oliver's Daughter in 1930; notable among his numerous other novels are The Porch (1937) and The Dangerous Years (1956). The lyrically descriptive qualities of his verse are present in his fiction, which he regarded as continuous with his activities as a poet. Among his other works are three volumes of autobiography, Over the Bridge (1955), The Golden Sovereign (1957), and The Voyage Home (1964); the biography Mary Shelley (1928); and the critical study The Growth of the English Novel (1966).

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