The Third Edition of this famous biography of the tragic young English poet, best known for his lyric "Cynara," including twenty-two new letters which shed additional information on his life. Few of the many romantic figures of the nineties have weathered the changing schools of literary taste as well as Dowson, in whose verse there is found a timeless, ingratiating charm and enduring interest. This biography is only incidentally a critical appraisal of Dowson's achievements but in attempting to give a more completely rounded picture of the man than we have had before it. The book is based on a great deal of new material, which clears up many misinterpretations of Dowson's personality. This consists of unpublished letters from various sources, including twelve from Oscar Wilde that have not been printed before and detailed information gleaned by the author in interviews and in correspondence with persons who knew the poet intimately.
To modern readers versed in psychological explanations of behavior, Dowson's story unwinds in a foredoomed pattern: the talented child of neurotic parents, the maladjusted boy at Oxford, the discontented young man in London, his curious infatuation for the child Adelaide, the brief association with prominent literary leaders in the Rhymers' Club and on the short-lived Savoy, and then his mother's suicide, his homelessness, poverty, aimless wandering abroad, the escape in drinking, finally death. Yet with it all, the insatiable urge to weave out his dreams in facile words which now form a unique and permanent contribution to English poetry. From this book Dowson emerges as a tragically interesting figure. The biography gives as much of his story as probably will ever be known, and as such takes an important place among the lives of English poets.
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Number of pages: 318
Weight: 652 g
Dimensions: 230 x 155 mm
Edition: Reprint 2016