W. H. Auden (2572 words)

Michael O'Neill (University of Durham)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error

Context

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 G…

Citation: O'Neill, Michael. "W. H. Auden". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5107, accessed 02 December 2022.]

5107 W. H. Auden 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.