C Day-Lewis: A Life
How unfair', wrote one national newspaper in 1951, 'that accomplishments enough to satisfy the pride of six men should be united in Mr Day-Lewis.' Poet, translator of classical texts, novelist, detective writer (under the pen-name Nicholas Blake), performer and, at that time, Professor of Poetry at Oxford, C Day-Lewis had many careers all at once. This first authorised biography tells the private story behind the many headlines that this handsome, charming Anglo-Irish Poet Laureate generated in his lifetime.
With unparalleled access to Day-Lewis's archives and the recollections of first-hand witnesses, Peter Stanford traces the link between life and art to reassess the work of a poet lauded in his lifetime but whose literary reputation has latterly become a matter of controversy with Westminster Abbey refusing him the place in Poets' Corner traditionally allotted to Poets Laureate.
Day-Lewis first made his name as one of the 'poets of the thirties', launching a communist-influenced poetic revolution alongside WH Auden and Stephen Spender that aspired to spark wholesale political change to face down fascism.
Day-Lewis was always pulled between a fulfilling domestic life and a restless desire to explore. His travels, his exploration of his Irish roots and his infidelities are all part of the rich and many-faceted life that Peter Stanford describes.
It is, however, as a poet that he is best remembered, and the poetry itself, often autobiographical, forms an integral part of this intriguing and long-overdue biography.
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