Empson, William, 1906-1984

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1906-09-27
Death 1984-04-15
Britons
English

Biographical notes:

English critic and teacher.

From the description of Autograph and typed letters signed (29) : London, Sheffield, Worcester, Beijing, and Singapore, to John Davenport, 1940 Aug. 7-1966 Mar. 7 and [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270870769

William Empson, born in 1791, was educated at Winchester and then studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. He began to contribute to the Edinburgh review in 1832 and from then until 1849 he wrote more than 60 articles on law, politics, and literary topics. In 1843 he wrote an article on Bentham which was contradicted by J. S. Mill in 1844. Empson was Professor of General Polity Upon the Laws of England at the East India College, Haileybury, Hertfordshire (this was the administrative training college of the East India Company which closed in 1858) from 1824 to 1852. He succeeded to the editorship of the Edinburgh review in 1847. William Empson died at Haileybury on 10 December 1852.

From the guide to the Letters of William Empson (1791-1852), 1850-1859, (Edinburgh University Library)

Empson (1906-1984) was a British poet and literary critic. His book, Seven types of ambiguity (1930), helped lay the foundation for the critical school known as the New Criticism.

From the guide to the William Empson papers, 1811-1996 (inclusive), 1911-1984 (bulk)., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Empson (1906-1984) was a British poet and literary critic. His book,Seven types of ambiguity (1930), helped lay the foundation for the critical school known as the New Criticism.

From the description of William Empson papers, 1811-1996 (inclusive), 1911-1984 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612235029

William Empson was a poet and critic, widely considered among the best and most influential literary critics of his day. Born into an aristocratric family in East Yorkshire, England, he took firsts in Mathematics and English at Cambridge University. He lived and taught for a time in the Orient, returning to England in 1939; he eventually took a position at the University of Sheffield, and later held other academic positions, some in the United States (including Penn State, 1974-1975). Empson is accounted a minor poet, a skilled traditionalist whose complex verse is valued by other poets but generally ignored by the public. He wrote his first major critical work at the age of twenty-two, and became highly regarded for his ability to be both instructive and inspirational; he has been described as one of the three most influential critics in the history of English literature.

From the description of William Empson letters and related materials, 1940-1975. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 123899177

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Subjects:

  • Critics--20th century--Correspondence
  • English literature--20th century
  • New Criticism
  • Criticism

Occupations:

  • Poets
  • Literary critics

Places:

  • Great Britain (as recorded)