Arthur Hugh Clough: A Poet's Life

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9780826482693: Arthur Hugh Clough: A Poet's Life

Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861) is one of the great undiscovered geniuses of Victorian literature. His poetry expresses the religious doubt of the age as well as exposing its sexual hypocrisy. His life is packed full of relationships and encounters with some of the great names of the 19th century; Florence Nightingale, Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Cardinal Newman, Tennyson, the Arnolds and so on. Clough's early death at the age of 42, worn down, it is said, by working as a factotum for Nightingale, was widely seen as a personal tragedy of unfulfilled promise. Now Kenny, the distinguished philosopher and former Master of Balliol College, Oxford, proposes to write three first major biography of Clough in thirty years. It is a task that has attracted others- Claire Tomalin for example- but Kenny is supremely qualified to do so. Not only is he already the editor of Clough's diaries, he has unrivalled insights into the world that contributed to Clough's tortured existence and has a lifelong knowledge of Clough's work. Additionally, Kenny has access to letters and other papers at Balliol, which have never been used by any biographer. In Kenny's biography, Clough will be re-established as one of the great Victorian poets (a judgement shared by Christopher Ricks in his 1987 Oxford Book of Victorian Verse) and also a significant personality of the Victorian stage.

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About the Author:

Sir Anthony Kenny was until recently Master of Balliol College, Oxford and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy in the University. The author of a number of books, including an autobiography The Path from Rome, he was formerly a Roman Catholic priest.

Review:



'...Kenny has been thinking about Clough for over a quarter of a century, and it shows...warmly sympathetic but not uncritical portrait of a complex character whose sensibility can without blather be described as edgily modern.' (Rupert Christiansen The Spectator)

'This is a very good critical biography, and an admirable picture of the intellectual world of early Victorianism.' (Allan Massie Literary Review)

'...This sad tale has now been told with great skill and delicacy by Anthony Kenny.' (Paul Johnson, Bowling Green State University The Spectator)

"Arthur Hugh Clough: A Poet's Life is the full-scale biography of one of the Victorian era's most modern and forward-thinking British poets. Tracing Clough's life from his childhood to his schooling to his years in London, his marriage, and his final days, Arthur Hugh Clough: A Poet's Life examines the influence of Clough's life experiences upon his poetry at each stage, the important role that women played in his life and particularly in influencing his love poetry, the transitions of his character and personality, and much more." —The Midwest Book Review, May 2006



"The book will please those interested in the Victorian period, both English and American. Kenny concludes that Clough was an interestingly complex man who was very much a part of the mid-Victorian scene. His story belongs wherever understanding Victorian life is cherished." —CHOICE, July 2006



"...the study is chastened and scholarly..." "...Kenny Deftly conveys the intense atmosphere of the lives of undergraduates at the time." "...as a biographer, Kenny seems set not merely on recounting Clough's life but on reviving an interest in his poetry." "...He is a careful exegete..." "...Kenny's biography gives testimony to the man and the demands of the verse..." (Edward T. Wheeler Commonweal)

'...This sad tale has now been told with great skill and delicacy by Anthony Kenny.' (Sanford Lakoff The Spectator)

“Arthur Hugh Clough: A Poet’s Life is the full-scale biography of one of the Victorian era’s most modern and forward-thinking British poets. Tracing Clough’s life from his childhood to his schooling to his years in London, his marriage, and his final days, Arthur Hugh Clough: A Poet’s Life examines the influence of Clough’s life experiences upon his poetry at each stage, the important role that women played in his life and particularly in influencing his love poetry, the transitions of his character and personality, and much more.” –The Midwest Book Review, May 2006



CHOICE, July 2006



"...the study is chastened and scholarly..." "...Kenny Deftly conveys the intense atmosphere of the lives of undergraduates at the time." "...as a biographer, Kenny seems set not merely on recounting Clough's life but on reviving an interest in his poetry." "...He is a careful exegete..." "...Kenny's biography gives testimony to the man and the demands of the verse..." (Sanford Lakoff Commonweal)

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