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Sir Herbert Read (Sir Herbert Edward Read) Biography

(1893–1968), (Sir Herbert Edward Read), In Retreat, Ambush, Songs of Chaos, Naked Warriors

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British poet and critic, born in Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire, educated at the University of Leeds. His experiences on active service during the First World War are reflected in the prose works In Retreat (1925) and Ambush (1930) and in the verse collected in Songs of Chaos (1915) and Naked Warriors (1919). He became an Assistant Keeper at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1922. His subsequent works as a poet include The End of a War (1933) and Moon's Farm (1955). The influences of T. E. Hulme, whose essays Read edited in Speculations (1924), and of Imagism are apparent in the economically precise imagery of his verse. Collected Poems appeared in 1966. A close associate of T. S. Eliot's, Read's work for the Criterion established him as a critic of note; his advocacy of Modernism in literature and art stressed the need for effective mediation between tradition and innovation. Among his principal works of literary criticism are Reason and Romanticism (1926) and The Literature of Sincerity (1968). He was best known for his many influential works of socially oriented art criticism, which include Art and Industry (1934) and Education through Art (1947). With Roland Penrose, he founded the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1947. His novel The Green Child (1935) allegorizes his aesthetic philosophy. The Innocent Eye (1933) and The Contrary Experience (1963) are autobiographical.

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