A Very Short Biography of Elizabeth Daryush

A short introduction to her life and work

Who was Elizabeth Daryush? Although she was championed and praised by poets and critics including Roy Fuller and Donald Davie, her poetry is not widely read or studied now. Yet the biography of Elizabeth Daryush reveals some intriguing family connections and a curious poet, whose work is worth (re)discovering. In this post, then, we offer a very short overview of Daryush’s life and work.

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A Very Short Biography of George Bernard Shaw

The interesting life of the great playwright

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was a prolific writer of plays but also of essays justifying his plays: the two (double-columned) volumes of his Plays and Prefaces both stretch to over 1,000 pages. In this post, we’re going to attempt to distill his busy life into a very short biography – and, we hope, an interesting one – covering some of the most fascinating aspects of the man known variously as Bernard Shaw, George Bernard Shaw, or even just plain ‘GBS’.

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A Very Short Biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A brief introduction to Barrett Browning’s life

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61) was one of the most popular poets of the Victorian era, and although her achievement is now eclipsed by that of the man she married in 1846, she was the more popular poet of the two of them during her lifetime and only narrowly lost out to Tennyson for the position of Poet Laureate in 1850. Here we offer a very short biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, taking in her secret elopement, her Victorian verse epic, and other highlights from her interesting life and work.

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A Very Short Biography of Anne Askew

A brief introduction to Askew’s life and work

Who was Anne Askew (c. 1521-46)? Askew was one of the first female poets to compose in the English language. In this very short biography of Anne Askew, we sketch out the interesting and noteworthy highlights from her life and work.

Askew (sometimes spelt Ayscough or Ascue) was born in 1520 or 1521, the daughter of William Askew, who was one of the jurors at the trial of Anne Boleyn’s co-accused. She is now chiefly remembered for ‘The Ballad Which Anne Askew Made and Sang When She Was in Newgate’, which begins:

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A Very Short Biography of Matthew Arnold

An interesting introduction to Arnold’s life

Matthew Arnold (1822-88) is best-remembered as a poet, although very few of his poems remain widely known. ‘Dover Beach’ is the most famous of these. But he led a curious life and has left us with some lasting legacies, so in this post we intend to offer a very short biography of Matthew Arnold, taking in the highlights of his life and work.

Matthew Arnold was born in Surrey, England on Christmas Eve 1822, the son of Thomas Arnold, influential and celebrated schoolteacher and Headmaster of Rugby School, where young Matthew studied. Thomas Arnold would later be immortalised in the Thomas Hughes classic Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857). Arnold – Matthew, that is – had to wear leg braces for two years during his childhood to correct crooked legs.

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