Bernard Bergonzi Biography
(1929– ), The Early H. G. Wells, Heroes' Twilight, T. S. Eliot
British critic, born in London; he left school at 15 to work as a clerk. He was subsequently educated at Newbattle Abbey College, Dalkeith, and Wadham College, Oxford. In 1971 he became Professor of English at the University of Warwick. The Early H. G. Wells (1961) was the first of his numerous works of criticism, which also include Heroes' Twilight (1965), a study of the literature of the First World War; T. S. Eliot (1972); Reading the Thirties: Texts and Contexts (1978); The Myth of Modernism and Twentieth Century Literature (1986); Exploding English (1990), his sometimes provocative analysis of the present state of English studies; and Wartime and Aftermath: English Literature and Its Background, 1939–1960 (1993). He has published two collections of poetry, Descartes and the Animals (1954) and Years (1979), which display an attractive combination of concentration and accessibility and frequently make use of a shrewdly understated wit. His novel The Roman Persuasion (1981) draws on his extensive knowledge of the 1930s to evoke the ambivalent reactions of an English Catholic family to the Spanish Civil War.