Georgian Poetry

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Georgian Poetry refers to a series of anthologies showcasing the work of a school of English poetry that established itself during the early years of the reign of King George V of the United Kingdom.

The Georgian poets were, by the strictest definition, those whose works appeared in a series of five anthologies named Georgian Poetry, published by Harold Monro and edited by Edward Marsh, the first volume of which contained poems written in 1911 and 1912. The group included Edmund Blunden, Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, D. H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare, Siegfried Sassoon and John Drinkwater.

The period of publication was sandwiched between the Victorian era, with its strict classicism, and Modernism, with its strident rejection of pure aestheticism. The common features of the poems in these publications were romanticism, sentimentality and hedonism. Later critics have attempted to revise the definition of the term as a description of poetic style, thereby including some new names or excluding some old ones. W. H. Davies, a contemporary, is sometimes included within the grouping, although his "innocent style" differs markedly from that of the others.

Henry Newbolt, writing in the early 1930s, estimated that there were at least 1000 active British poets, the vast majority of whom would be recognisably 'Georgian', making the group a very large one.[citation needed]

Edward Marsh was the general editor of the series and the centre of the circle of Georgian poets, which included Rupert Brooke. It has been suggested that Brooke himself took a hand in some of the editorial choices.

The idea for an anthology began as a joke, when Marsh, Duncan Grant and George Mallory decided, one evening in 1912 to publish a parody of the many small poetry books that were appearing at the time. After some discussion it was decided to pursue the idea in all seriousness. Marsh and Brooke approached the poet and bookseller Harold Monro who had recently opened The Poetry Bookshop at Devonshire Street, London. He agreed to publish the book in return for a half share of the profits.

Subsequent to the final anthology of five, further collections appeared edited by J. C. Squire, which were probably intended to take on the mantle. The subsequent fate of the Georgian poets (inevitably known as the Squirearchy) then became an aspect of the critical debate surrounding modernist poetry, as marked by the publication of The Waste Land at just that time. The Georgian poets became something of a by-word for conservatism, but at the time of the early anthologies they saw themselves as modern (if not modernist) and progressive. The most important figures, in literary terms, would now be considered D. H. Lawrence and Robert Graves: neither of them 'typical'.

Georgian Poetry 1911-12 (1912)[edit]

Lascelles Abercrombie - Gordon Bottomley - Rupert Brooke - G. K. Chesterton - W. H. Davies - Walter de la Mare - John Drinkwater - James Elroy Flecker - W. W. Gibson - D. H. Lawrence - John Masefield - Harold Monro - T. Sturge Moore - Ronald Ross - Edmund Beale Sargant - James Stephens - R. C. Trevelyan

Georgian Poetry 1913-15 (1915)[edit]

Lascelles Abercrombie - Gordon Bottomley - Rupert Brooke - W. H. Davies - Walter de la Mare - John Drinkwater - J. E. Flecker - W. W. Gibson - Ralph Hodgson - D. H. Lawrence - F. Ledwidge - John Masefield - Harold Monro - James Stephens

Georgian Poetry 1916-17 (1917)[edit]

Herbert Asquith - Maurice Baring - Gordon Bottomley - W. H. Davies - Walter de la Mare - John Drinkwater - John Freeman - W. W. Gibson - Robert Graves - Ralph Hodgson - John Masefield - Harold Monro - Robert Nichols - Isaac Rosenberg - Siegfried Sassoon - J. C. Squire - James Stephens - W. J. Turner

Georgian Poetry 1918-19 (1919)[edit]

Lascelles Abercrombie - Gordon Bottomley - Francis Brett Young - W. H. Davies - Walter de la Mare - John Drinkwater - John Freeman - W. W. Gibson - Robert Graves - D. H. Lawrence - Harold Monro - Thomas Moult - Robert Nichols - J. D. C. Pellow - Siegfried Sassoon - Edward Shanks - Fredegond Shove - J. C. Squire - W. J. Turner

Georgian Poetry 1920-22 (1922)[edit]

Lascelles Abercrombie - Martin Armstrong - Edmund Blunden - Francis Brett Young - W. H. Davies - Walter de la Mare - John Drinkwater - John Freeman - W. W. Gibson - Robert Graves - Richard Hughes - William Kerr - D. H. Lawrence - Harold Monro - Robert Nichols - J. D. C. Pellow - Frank Prewett - Peter Quennell - Vita Sackville-West - Edward Shanks - J. C. Squire

See also[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Georgian Revolt: Rise and Fall of a Poetic Ideal, 1910-22 by Robert H Ross ISBN 0-571-08061-8

External links[edit]

Online at Project Gutenberg: