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Sir Henry Newbolt (Sir Henry John Newbolt) Biography

(1862–1938), (Sir Henry John Newbolt), Admirals All and Other Verses, The Island Race

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Mr Polly to New France

British poet, born in Bilston, Staffordshire, educated at Corpus Christi, Oxford; he became a barrister in 1887. The enormous success of Admirals All and Other Verses (1897), his forthrightly patriotic first collection of verse, prompted him to retire from the bar and devote himself to literature. His numerous popular collections of poetry include The Island Race (1898), The Sailing of the Long-Ships (1902), and Songs of Memory and Hope (1909). His considerable public standing was increased by The Year of Trafalgar (1905), a history written for the battle's centenary. He also wrote historical novels, notably The New June (1909). As a critic, he lent support to the Georgian Poetry series in A New Study of English Poetry (1917). Famous for viewing the British military spirit in terms of ‘Play up! play up! and play the game’ (‘Vitai Lampada’), his verse was inadequate to the mood of the First World War, and he produced little poetry after 1918; Poems: New and Old (1912, enlarged 1919), is the principal collection of his verse. He remained prominent as a public figure until his death. My World as in My Time (1932) is a volume of his memoirs.

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