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Elinor Wylie (Elinor Morton Hoyt Wylie) Biography

(1885–1928), (Elinor Morton Hoyt Wylie), Incidental Numbers, Nets To Catch the Wind, Black Armour, Trivial Breath

American poet and novelist, born in Somerville, New Jersey; she grew up in Washington, where her father held office as Solicitor-General of the United States. From 1912 to 1915 she lived in England, where Incidental Numbers (1912), her first collection of verse, was privately published. She discounted it following the publication of Nets To Catch the Wind (1921), which, with its precise imagery and musical refinement, represented a considerable advance on her sentimentally conventional earlier work; its appearance marked the beginning of her short but highly successful literary career. Her subsequent collections, characterized by a poised combination of emotional intensity and aesthetic detachment, were Black Armour (1923), Trivial Breath (1928), and Angels and Earthly Creatures (1929). William Rose Benét, her third husband, edited Collected Poems (1932) and Last Poems (1942). Jennifer Lorn (1923), the first of her novels, was chiefly set in eighteenth-century India and revealed the talent for imaginative adaptation of historical research evident throughout her prose fiction. Her other novels include The Venetian Glass Nephew (1925), a philosophical fantasy allegorizing her conceptions of art, and The Orphan Angel (1926; UK title Mortal Image, 1927), in which Shelley, rescued from drowning by an American ship, explores the American frontier. William Rose Benét's edition of her Collected Prose appeared in 1933. The fullest of numerous biographical treatments is Elinor Wylie: A Life Apart (1979) by Stanley Olson.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Woking Surrey to Æ