Blunden, Edmund, 1896-1974

Alternative names
Birth 1896-11-01
Death 1974-01-20

Biographical notes:

Blunden was an English poet and scholar.

From the description of Edmund Blunden papers, 1921-1952 (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612727624

Edmund Blunden, English poet and university teacher. His highly acclaimed biography of Shelley was published in 1946.

From the description of Edmund Blunden manuscript material : 8 items, ca. 1945-1955 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 76945001

From the guide to the Edmund Blunden manuscript material : 8 items, ca. 1945-1955, (The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.)

Edmund Blunden was born in London on November 1, 1896. In 1900, his family moved to Yalding in Kent. He was schooled at local schools until the age of twelve, when he was sent to boarding school at Christ's Hospital in Sussex. He won a scholarship to Oxford but in 1915, before he completed his studies, he enlisted in the army. In spring 1916 he joined the Royal Sussex Regiment and saw action in France. He won a Military Cross for a reconnaissance mission under constant fire. He was released from duty in 1919, having served two years in the trenches. In 1918 he married Mary Daines. In the years immediately following the war, he sent some poems to the Daily Herald. Through this contact, he met Seigfried Sassoon and began a long friendship with him. He returned to Oxford, but with a family to support he left to work at The Athenaeum and The Nation in London. He published his first book of poems, The Waggoner, in 1920. Also in 1920 he collected and published poetry by John Clare. He named his next two children, Clare and John, for the poet. Perhaps suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, Blunden continued to write. Literary research interests and publishing poetry took away from study time. Publishing poetry and working part-time also could not support his family. In addition, his relationship with Mary was deteriorating, so he accepted a professorship in English at Toyko University, where he served from 1924 to 1927. Mary did not go with him. While in Japan, he wrote Undertones of War, a memoir. He continued to write and associate with the literati of the day and his literary reputation grew, but he was unhappy in his personal life. He filed for divorce from Mary in 1929. He had had an affair with his secretary in Japan, Aki Hayashi and, though the affair was over before he left Japan, he brought her back to London with him and set her up in a flat. During this time, in addition to his poetry, he published works about Leigh Hunt and poems of Wilfred Owen. In 1931 his divorce from Mary was finalized. Also in that year, he took up a tutoring position at Oxford. In 1933 he married Sylva Norman, a writer at The Nation. This marriage also did not last and they separated in the fall of 1939. He continued to write poetry, prose, biographies, and essays. He married Claire Poynting in 1945 with whom he eventually had four more daughters. Blunden was opposed to war and had a difficult time during and after World War II. He tried to avoid politics but due to his pacifism he was labelled a Nazi, even though he served as an officer on the University's Officer Training Corps. In 1947 he was appointed cultural advisor to the liaison mission to Japan. He was kept busy in Japan with lectures with the result that his appointment was extended so that he did not return to England until 1950. At this time he went to work for the Times Literary Supplement. He was very active in the literary life of England between 1950 and 1953, but in September 1953 he moved his family to Hong Kong to accept the Vice Chancellorship of Honk Kong University. Life continued to be very busy, and he kept publishing. In 1969, he retired and returned to England, where he continued to write and publish and to receive awards. He died in 1974.

From the description of Edmund Blunden papers, ca. 1918-ca. 1982. (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 230742597

BIOGHIST REQUIRED English poet, Edmund Charles Blunden.

From the guide to the Edmund Blunden Letters and Manuscripts, 1922-1968, (Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

English poet, Edmund Charles Blunden.

From the description of Edmund Blunden papers, 1922-1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 609577997

Edmund Charles Blunden (1896-1974), the poet, teacher, critic, and biographer. For fuller details of his life and achievements see the Dictionary of National Biography .

From the guide to the Ten autograph manuscript poems by Edmund Blunden, ca. 1930-1958, (Leeds University Library)

English poet.

From the description of The nun at court, [ca. 1930]. (University of Arizona). WorldCat record id: 29305414

Educator and poet. Full name: Edmund Charles Blunden,

From the description of Edmund Blunden papers, 1939. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79455390

Edmund Blunden was born in London, England, in 1896. Educated at Christ's Hospital and Queen's College, Oxford, he joined the Royal Sussex Regiment on the outbreak of the First World War. During the war, Blunden fought at Ypres and the Somme and won the Military Cross for bravery. Blunden wrote about these experiences in Undertones of War (1928). He also produced collected editions of the work of the war poets Wilfred Owen (1931) and Ivor Gurney (1954). He held several academic posts, including professor of English literature at Tokyo University, University of Hong Kong and Oxford University. He wrote books on Leigh Hunt, Thomas Hardy, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Charles Lamb. He also published several volumes of poetry: Pastorals (1916), The Waggoner (1920), The Shepherd (1922), English Poems (1925), Poems: 1930-40 (1941) and After the Bombing (1950). He died in 1974.

From the description of Yuan Collection of Edmund Blunden Papers. 1951-1999. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 225567625

Edmund Blunden was an English poet and scholar.

From the guide to the Edmund Blunden papers, 1921-1952., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Andrew Young was a Scottish poet, cleric, and botanist.

From the guide to the Andrew Young collection of papers, 1922-[1970, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

English poet, author and critic Edmund Blunden was born November 1, 1896 in London, England. He was the oldest of nine children. He had married three times, divorced all but his last wife Claire. He taught at the University of Hong Kong, and was a Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. He died January 20, 1974

From the guide to the Edmund Blunden papers, 1930-1960, (Ohio University)

Jack Morpurgo (1918-2000) graduated from Christ's Hospital School in England. He was the first British graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia after the American Revolution. He served in the British military during World War II. In his professional life, he was an editor and author of fiction and non-fiction. He was a frequent contributor of articles and book reviews to magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers. He wrote and participated in numerous radio and television broadcasts in Britain, the United States, Canada, and Australia. A significant portion of his career was spent under the tutelage of Alan Lane, founder of Penguin Books.

From the guide to the J.E. Morpurgo Papers, 1742, 1937-2000, 1950-1970, (Special Collections, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary)

English poet and critic.

From the description of Poems, essays, and letters, 1931-1960. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122530514

From the description of Papers, 1922-1986. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122421787

Edmund Blunden (1896-1974) was a highly regarded poet of World War One. He served as a second lieutenant in the Royal Sussex regiment. In Flanders, he witnessed action in the trenches and on the battlefield and was awarded the Military Cross. Although Blunden survived the war with no injuries, he lost several friends and was greatly affected by the toll on both human life and on the countryside. Many of his poems were written after the war.

After leaving the army in 1919, Blunden began a literary career, meeting Siegfried Sassoon, who became a lifelong friend. In addition to his work as a poet, he enjoyed a career as an editor, journalist, critic, and biographer (Bergonzi, ODNB ).

From the guide to the Edmund Blunden Poem, "At Senlis Once" (MS 146), [n.d.], (University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries. Special Collections Dept.)


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  • Historians--Great Britain--Biography
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  • Educators
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