Michael Longley

(2402 words)
  • Fran Brearton (Queen's University Belfast)

Michael Longley was born in Belfast on 27 July 1939, the eldest (by half an hour) of twin boys. His parents, Major Richard Longley and Constance Longley, both from England, met and married after the First World War, in which Richard Longley served in the London-Scottish regiment, and they moved permanently to Belfast in 1927. Longley thus grew up in an English household in Ireland, a more unusual situation than its opposite. His autobiographical writings explore some of the contradictions and tensions in his childhood environment, and the importance to him of being a twin. In his short memoir Tuppenny Stung (1994) he describes his childhood relationship with his brother as one in which he felt “completely fulfilled. Being a …

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Brearton, Fran. "Michael Longley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5518, accessed 28 September 2016.]