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Richard Aldington


Almost forgotten now, Aldington was known as a poet influenced by and friendly with Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot as well as an early biographer of T E Lawrence. He was an early Imagist and married the American poet H.D. As a novelist he is remembered only for Death of a Hero, based on his experiences in World War I. He was born in 1892 in Portsmouth. His father was a lawyer. After attending Dover College, he went to the University of London of a year but had to drop out because of his family’s financial circumstances. He worked at various jobs, particularly journalism and also started writing poetry. He got to know several of the key poets of the time and it was Ezra Pound who introduced him to H(ilda).D(oolittle). They fell in love and married. However, after their child was stillborn, there was greater stress on the marriage and they grew apart, separating and then divorcing. Meanwhile, both had become involved with the poetry group known as the Imagists.

Aldington served in World War 1, which had a great influence on his work and led to his best-known novel Death of a Hero. He was wounded during the war. After the war, he was associated with T S Eliot and other poets but never had the latter’s success and had to survive on hack work. In 1928, he moved to Paris, where he wrote Death of a Hero. He and his new wife, Netta Patmore, moved to the United States in 1942. While there he wrote several biographies, including a highly controversial and critical one about T E Lawrence. The backlash against his book led to his reputation suffering greatly, though many of his criticisms now seem justified. He died in 1962.

Other links

Richard Aldington
Richard Aldington
Richard Aldington
Louis Silverstein’s H.D. Chronology: Introduction (H(ilda).D(oolittle) was married to Aldington. There is a lot about him here)
Richard Aldington (texts of some of his poems)

Books about Richard Aldington

Charles Doyle: Richard Aldington


1915 Images (1910 – 1915) (US: Images – Old and New) (poetry)
1917 The Love of Myrrhine and Konallis and Other Prose Poems (poetry)
1917 Reverie: a Little Book of Poems for H.D (poetry)
1919 Images of War: a Book of Poems (poetry)
1919 Images of Desire (poetry)
1919 Images (poetry)
1919 War and Love: 1915-1918 (poetry)
1921 Medallions in Clay (poetry)
1921 A Book of ‘Characters’ from Theophrastus Joseph Hall, Sir Thomas Overbury, Nicolas Breton, John Earle, Thomas Fuller and other English authors: Jean de la Bruyère, Vauvenargues and other French authors
1921 Hymen (with H.D.)
1923 The Berkshire Kennet (poetry)
1923 Collected Poems: 1915-1923 (poetry)
1923 Exile and Other Poems (poetry)
1924 A Fool i’ the Forest: a Phantasmagoria (poetry)
1924 Literary Studies and Reviews (essays)
1925 Voltaire (biography)
1926 French Studies and Reviews (essays)
1926 The Love of Myrrhine and Konallis and Other Prose Poems
1927 D. H. Lawrence: An Indiscretion (chapbook)
1928 Collected Poems (poetry)
1928 Hark the Herald : A Poem (poetry)
1928 Remy de Gourmont: a Modern Man of Letters (chapbook)
1929 The Eaten Heart (poetry)
1929 Death of a Hero (novel)
1930 At All Costs (stories)
1930 A Dream in the Luxembourg (US: Love and the Luxembourg) (poetry)
1930 D. H. Lawrence: A Brief and Inevitably Fragmentary Impression
1930 Last Straws (story)
1930 Roads to Glory (stories)
1930 Two Stories (stories)
1931 Balls and Another Book for Suppression (humour)
1931 The Colonel’s Daughter (novel)
1931 Stepping Heavenward: A Record (satire)
1932 Movietones: Invented and Set Down by Richard Aldington, 1928-1929 (poetry)
1932 Soft Answers (short novels)
1933 All Men Are Enemies (novel)
1934 The Poems of Richard Aldington (poetry)
1934 Women Must Work (novel)
1934 The Squire (portrait of Charles Waterton)
1935 Life Quest (poetry)
1935 Artifex: Sketches And Ideas (essays)
1935 D. H. Lawrence
1936 Life of a Lady (drama – with Derek Patmore)
1937 The Crystal World (poetry)
1937 Very Heaven (novel)
1938 Seven Against Reeves: a Comedy-Farce (novel)
1939 Rejected Guest (novel)
1939 W. Somerset Maugham: An Appreciation
1941 Life for Life’s Sake: Memories Of A Vanished England & A Changing World, By One Who Was Bohemian, Poet, Soldier, Novelist & Wanderer (memoir)
1946 The Romance of Casanova (novel)
1946 A Life of Wellington: The Duke
1948 The Complete Poems of Richard Aldington (poetry)
1948 Four English Portraits 1801-1851
1948 Jane Austen
1949 The Strange Life of Charles Waterton, 1782-1865
1949 D.H. Lawrence: Portrait of a Genius But… (UK: D.H. Lawrence: An Appreciation)
1953 Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot: A Lecture
1954 Pinorman: Personal Recollections of Norman Douglas, Pino Orioli, and Charles Prentice
1954 Lawrence L’Imposteur: T.E. Lawrence, the Legend and the Man (UK, US: Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Inquiry)
1955 A.E. Housman and W.B. Yeats: Two Lectures
1955 Austria: A Book of Photographs
1955 Switzerland: A Book of Photographs
1956 Introduction to Mistral
1957 Frauds (on forgeries and hoaxes)
1957 Portrait of a Rebel: The Life and Work of Robert Louis Stevenson
1958 France = La France = Frankreich: A Book of Photographs
1958 Switzerland = La Suisse = Die Schweiz: A Book of Photographs
1960 Italy – L’Italie – Italien: A Book of Photographs
1960 Famous Cities of the World: Rome
1960 A Tourist’s Rome
1962 A Letter from Richard Aldington and a Summary Bibliography of Count Potocki’s Published Works
1963 Farewell to Memories (verse story)
1970 Richard Aldington: Selected Critical Writings 1928-1960
1987 In Winter
2002 The Poplar (poetry)
2002 An Imagist at War: The Complete War Poems of Richard Aldington (poetry)
2005 The Selected War Poems (poetry)