Lascelles Abercrombie Biography, English Poet and Critic


Who is Lascelles Abercrombie? Information on Lascelles Abercrombie biography, life story, works and poems.

Lascelles Abercrombie; (1881-1938), English poet and critic, who became a leader of the Georgian poets, a group of pre-World War I poets that included Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater, Wilfrid Gibson, and Walter de la Mare. Abercrombie was born at Ashton-upon-Mersey, England, on Jan. 9, 1881. In 1902 he left the University of Manchester to begin writing. His early books of verse included Interludes and Poems (1908), Mary and the Bramble (1910), and Emblems of Love (1912). He gave up writing during World War I when he worked as a munitions inspector. After the war he taught at the University of Liverpool (1919-1922), Leeds University (1922-1929), and the University of London (1929-1935 ). From 1935 he was Goldsmith’s reader in English at Oxford. He died in London on Oct. 27, 1938.

Lascelles Abercrombie

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Abercrombie has been called an “ivory tower” poet. Although his verse was praised by the critics of his day, it is difficult and unemotional, and it was never well known to the general public. His poetry often expresses disenchantment with the industrially orientated civilization of the 20th century, and unfailingly follows complex and irregular structural patterns that are highly suggestive of the poetic forms of classical antiquity.

Abercrombie’s critical works include Thomas Hardy: A Critical Study (1912), The Theory of Poetry (1924), and The Idea of Great Poetry (1924). The latter two books develop a poetic philosophy in which the main function of poetry is to be an expression rather than an imitation of life. The Sale of St. Thomas, a verse drama that Abercrombie considered his best work, was published in 1930, the year in which his collected poems also appeared.

His brother, Patrick Abercrombie, was the foremost British town planner of his day.


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