W. H. Auden (2413 words)

  • Michael O'Neill (University of Durham)

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W. H. Auden, one of the very greatest twenteth-century English poets, was born in York in 1907. His father George was a doctor, who would become School Medical Officer and Professor of Public Health in Birmingham. His mother Constance was a nurse, musical and religious in a High Church fashion that left its mark on later Auden's self-ironizing love of verbal and intellectual display (“Mother wouldn't like it”, he would say in middle age); when he was eight, she taught him the words and music of the great love-potion scene in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, so that they could sing the duet (Auden was Isolde). After school at St Edmund's, Hindhead, Surrey (1915-20) where he met Christopher Isherwood, and Gresham's School, Holt, …

O'Neill, Michael. "W. H. Auden". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5107, accessed 24 April 2017.]

Articles on Auden's works

  1. A Bride in the 30's
  2. A Summer Night
  3. Fish in the unruffled lakes
  4. Lay your sleeping head, my love
  5. Letter to Lord Byron
  6. Look, stranger, at this island now
  7. Look, Stranger!
  8. May with its light behaving
  9. Musée des Beaux Arts
  10. Night Mail
  11. O What Is That Sound

Related Groups

  1. Queer (GLBT) Literature
  2. The Sonnet Tradition

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