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Vernon Scannell Biography

(1922–2007), Graves and Resurrections, The Masks of Love, The Winter Man, Funeral Games, Soldiering On

British poet and novelist, born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, educated at the University of Leeds after active service in the Second World War and a period as a professional boxer. He was a schoolteacher from 1955 to 1962, when he became a freelance writer. His numerous collections of poetry include Graves and Resurrections (1948), The Masks of Love (1960), The Winter Man (1973), Funeral Games (1987), Soldiering On (1989), and A Time for Fires (1991). New and Collected Poems 1950–1980 was published in 1980, and Collected Poems, 1950–1993 in 1993. Scannell's poetry, which generally combines an informality of tone with accomplished use of traditional forms, recurrently draws on his background as a boxer, soldier, teacher, and parent. Mortality is a frequent theme, which he treats with a characteristic combination of pessimism, wit, and compassion. Among his novels are The Big Chance (1960), Ring of Truth (1983), acclaimed for the authenticity of its treatment of boxing, and Argument of Kings (1987), which is closely based on his wartime experiences. The Tiger and the Rose (1971), A Proper Gentleman (1977), and Drums of Morning: Growing Up in the Thirties (1992) are autobiographies. His critical works include Not without Glory (1976), a study of British and American poetry of the Second World War. He has edited several anthologies of poetry and prose, notably the popular Sporting Literature of 1987.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: William Sansom (William Norman Trevor Sansom) Biography to Dr Seuss [Theodor Giesel] Biography