Read, Herbert, 1893-1968

Alternative names
Birth 1893-12-04
Death 1968-06-12

Biographical notes:

Sir Herbert Edward Read was a poet, art critic and champion of modern art in Britain. He produced approximately 1,150 titles on a broad range of topics. His 80 monographs include: 26 on art and artists; 14 on literary criticism; 13 collections of poetry; 10 on politics, primarily on anarchism; 7 on "belles lettres" and biography; 5 on education, most notably "Education Through Art"; and 5 autobiographies.

From the description of Sir Herbert Edward Read fonds. [1918-1965]. (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 651604410

Sir Herbert Read was a poet and critic, known for his support of 20th century art and literature movements. Born in Yorkshire, his father's death sent young Read to an orphan's school; he worked as a bank clerk before entering Leeds University in 1912, where his diverse course of study had an enormous influence on his development. Service in World War I left him decorated and disillusioned, but fuelled his career as a poet and essayist; he held various positions after the war, but was primarily a poet and critic. He supported modern movements in writing and painting, and served as a vital liaison with continental influences, shaping the British art world during the period following World War II with his writing and influence. Despite his professed anarchist tendencies, he accepted a knighthood for his service to literature in 1953.

From the description of Herbert Read letters, 1933-1964. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 166922919

Epithet: author and art critic

Title: Knight

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000496.0x00015b


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  • Sculpture, Modern--20th century
  • Modernism (Art)
  • English poetry--20th century
  • Art, Modern--20th century
  • Art--Philosophy
  • English literature--20th century
  • Male authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Art--Study and teaching
  • Anarchism


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  • Coleshill, Warwickshire (as recorded)
  • Vietnam, South East Asia (as recorded)
  • Holborn and Finsbury, Middlesex (as recorded)