Robert Conquest (George Robert Acworth Conquest) Biography
(1917– ), (George Robert Acworth Conquest), Poems, Between Mars and Venus, Arias from a Love Opera, Forays
British poet and historian, born in Great Malvern, Worcester, educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. After active service in the Second World War, he held a series of diplomatic postings until 1956, when he began lecturing at the London School of Economics. Since 1959 he has lived mainly in America as a senior research fellow at various universities and institutions. He is recognized as one of the world's leading specialists in Soviet affairs and modern Russian history. His Poems appeared in 1955; Between Mars and Venus (1962), Arias from a Love Opera (1969), and Forays (1979) are among his subsequent collections. New and Collected Poems was published in 1988. He edited the two volumes of New Lines anthologies (1956, 1963), the first of which was the principal platform of The Movement; Conquest's definition of their aims as ‘a negative determination to avoid bad principles’ applies to the precision of form and argument with which his own poems develop their fusions of thought and feeling. Numerous poems display the interest in science fiction evident in his novel A World of Difference (1955). With Kingsley Amis, Conquest was co-editor of the science fiction anthology Spectrum (1961–5) and co-author of the humorous novel The Egyptologists (1965). His many publications on the USSR include The Great Terror (1973) and The Harvest of Sorrow (1986), which examine the effects of Stalin's policies in the 1930s. His translation of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Prussian Nights appeared in 1973.