Christopher Ricks Biography
(1933– ), Tennyson's Methods of Composition, Tennyson: A Biographical and Critical Study
British critic, born in London, educated at Balliol College, Oxford. After teaching at the universities of Oxford, Bristol, and Cambridge, in 1986 he became Professor of English at Boston University. His edition of the poems of Tennyson which appeared in 1969 is the fullest available text of that poet's work; his Tennyson's Methods of Composition (1966) and Tennyson: A Biographical and Critical Study (1972) are also highly regarded. Notable among his many other publications are Milton's Grand Style (1963), Keats and Embarrassment (1974), The Force of Poetry (1984), and T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (1988). He is noted for the penetrating and revealing analyses of poetry achieved by his remarkably close attention to the textual fabric of works under consideration; the results are invariably stimulating and sometimes provocatively tendentious. The scope of his interests is unusually wide, extending from John Gower to Bob Dylan. His other works as an editor include The Brownings: Letters and Poetry (1970), The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse (1987), A. E. Housman: Collected Poems and Selected Prose (1988), and The Faber Book of America (1992; with William M. Vance). The texts of his Clarendon lectures of 1990 were published as Beckett's Dying Words (1993).