Edward Thompson (Edward John Thompson) Biography
(1886–1946), (Edward John Thompson), The Knight Mystic, Mesopotamian Verses, John in Prison, Collected Poems
British poet, translator, historian, and novelist, born in Bath, educated at Oxford University and the University of London. The Knight Mystic (1907) was his first collection of verse. In 1909 he became a Methodist minister and worked as an educational missionary in Bengal. His experiences as an army chaplain from 1916 to 1918 are reflected in the vivid and moving poems of the Palestinian and Mesopotamian Campaigns in Mesopotamian Verses (1919), which established his reputation as a poet. Stylistically, his verse remained firmly traditional throughout his career. John in Prison (1912) is the most impressive of his repeated treatments of devotional subjects. After the appearance of Collected Poems (1930), he concentrated principally on cultural and historical works about India, among which are Ethical Ideals in India Today (1942) and The Making of the Indian Princes (1943). He also published a number of novels, which include Introducing the Arnisons (1935) and John Arnison (1939). The most successful of his numerous plays was Elizabeth and Essex (1943). He was a translator of the writings of Rabindranath Tagore and published the critical biography Rabindranath Tagore, Poet and Dramatist in 1926.