Herbert Trench (Frederic Herbert Trench) Biography
(1865–1923), (Frederic Herbert Trench), Deirdre Wed, New Poems, Napoleon, Talleyrand, magnum opus
British poet and dramatist, born at Avoncore, Co. Cork, educated at Keble College, Oxford. He entered the Civil Service in 1891. His early publications as a poet, which include Deirdre Wed (1900) and New Poems (1907), gained him a considerable reputation. He was director of the Hay-market Theatre from 1911 to 1913. He subsequently lived mainly at Settignano, near Florence, which is vividly evoked in much of his later verse. His ambitions as a dramatist were most substantially realized in Napoleon (1919); during the play's successful production Trench sustained injuries from which he never fully recovered. Talleyrand was to have been his magnum opus for the theatre, but remained unfinished at his death. Among his later publications are Ode from Italy in Time of War (1915) and Poems, with Fables in Prose (1918); a three-volume Collected Works was produced in 1924. Although the title poem of Deirdre Wed is markedly Irish in character, his verse is typically written in a rhetorically grandiose late Victorian style. His most interesting work is the long poem ‘Apollo and the Seaman’, which achieves an unusual combination of spirited ballad form and philosophically speculative content.
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