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John Gray (John Henry Gray) Biography

(1866–1934), (John Henry Gray), Silverpoints, Symboliste, Spiritual Poems, The Long Road, Park: A Fantastic Story

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Francis Edward Grainger Biography to Thomas Anstey Guthrie Biography

British poet, born in Bethnal Green, London; he began publishing poems while working as a librarian at the Foreign Office. In 1890 he met Oscar Wilde, with whose support Silverpoints, his first collection of verse, appeared in 1893; the opulent exoticism of its imagery was complemented by a lavish binding designed by Charles Ricketts. The volume also contained translations of poems by French Symboliste poets and was hailed as epitomizing the aesthetic movement. The devotional sensibility occasionally discernible was channelled into Spiritual Poems of 1896, which signalled the end of his career as a decadent. He studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood and, following his ordination in 1901, devoted himself to his ministry in Edinburgh. His infrequent later publications as a poet include The Long Road (1926), which contained the allegorical ‘The Flying Fish’, his best-known poem. In 1931 he produced Park: A Fantastic Story, a futuristic novel envisioning a Catholic theocracy. The Poems of John Gray, edited by Ian Fletcher, was published in 1988. In the Dorian Mode (1983) is a biography by Brocard Sewell.

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