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Wyndham Lewis


Percy Wyndham Lewis was born in 1882 on a yacht off Nova Scotia. His father was American and his mother English. In 1888 the family moved to England where Lewis attended first Rugby and then the Slade School of Fine Art. He was asked to leave both. He then spent several years travelling around Europe but returned to promote the new European art forms in England. He was originally associated with the Bloomsbury Group but left after falling out with Roger Fry. Together with Ezra Pound, the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and the painters Edward Wadsworth, Christopher Nevinson and William Roberts, he produced the Vorticist Manifesto in his journal Blast! in 1914. In 1916 he served as a battery officer on the Western Front and produced key war paintings.

After the War, he became more right-wing and sympathetic to Nazism and Italian Fascism. He continued to paint as well as to write but never had commercial success and was always struggling financially. His pro-Hitler book did not help. He produced both fine paintings and key modernist novels, which are still not fully recognised. He spent much of the World War II in the United States and Canada, returning to England in 1945. By 1951 he was blind. He died in 1957.

Books about Wyndham Lewis

Paul Edwards: Wyndham Lewis: Painter and Writer
Jane Farrington: Wyndham Lewis
Jeffrey Meyers: Enemy : Biography of Wyndham Lewis
Paul O’Keefe: Some Sort of Genius: A Life of Wyndham Lewis

Other links

Wyndham Lewis
Wyndham Lewis
Percy Wyndham Lewis
Percy Wyndham Lewis
Wyndham Lewis: The Irascible Enemy
Wyndham Lewis Society
Links to his paintings
A most modern misanthrope: Wyndham Lewis and the pursuit of anti-pathos
Lewis comes back into favour, and print
Portraits of Lewis at the National Portrait Gallery
Wyndham Lewis’s Art Criticism in The Listener, 1946-1951


1918 Tarr
1919 The Caliph’s Design : Architects! Where is Your Vortex?
1926 The Art of Being Ruled
1927 The Lion and the Fox; the Rôle of the Hero in the Plays of Shakespeare
1927 Time and Western Man
1927 The Wild Body; A Soldier of Humour and Other Stories
1928 The Childermass
1930 The Apes of God
1930 Satire & Fiction
1931 The Diabolical Principle and The Dithyrambic Spectator
1931 Hitler
1932 Filibusters in Barbary: A Record of a Visit to the Sous
1932 Doom of Youth
1932 Thirty Personalities and a Self-Portrait
1933 Engine Fight-Talk, The Song of the Militant Romance, If so the Man You Are, One-Way Song, Envoi (poetry)
1933 The Old Gang and the New Gang
1934 The Dumb Ox: a Study of Ernest Hemingway
1934 Man without Art
1936 Left Wings over Europe; or How to Make a War about Nothing
1937 Blasting & Bombardiering
1937 Count Your Dead: They Are Alive! or A New War in the Making
1937 The Revenge for Love
1938 The Mysterious Mr. Bull
1939 The Hitler Cult
1939 The Jews, are They Human?
1940 America, I Presume
1940 The Role of Line in Art
1941 The Vulgar Streak
1948 America and Cosmic Man
1950 Rude Assignment: A Narrative of My Career Up-To-Date
1951 The Sea-Mists of the Winter
1951 Rotting Hill
1952 The Writer and the Absolute
1954 The Demon of Progress in the Arts
1954 Self Condemned
1955 Monstre Gai
1955 Malign Fiesta
1956 The Red Priest
1962 Letters
1972 The Art of Being Ruled
1973 The Roaring Queen
1973 Unlucky for Pringle: Unpublished and Other Stories
1977 The Code of a Herdsman
1977 Mrs. Dukes’ Million
1978 Crossing the Frontier
1979 Collected Poems and Plays
1983 Journey into Barbary : Morocco Writings and Drawings of Wyndham Lewis
1989 Creatures of Habit & Creatures of Change: Essays on Art, Literature & Society, 1914-1956
2003 Collected Poems & Plays