Paul Roche

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This article is about the English poet. For the Irish hurler, see Paul Roche (hurler).

Donald Robert Paul Roche (26 September 1916 – 30 October 2007) was a British poet, novelist, and professor of English, a critically acclaimed translator of Greek and Latin classics, notably the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Sappho, and Plautus. Born in Mussoorie, India, Roche was an associate of the Bloomsbury group, especially of painter Duncan Grant, whom he met in the summer of 1946 and who lived with Roche and his family until Grant's death in 1978.

He used his translation of Sophocles', Oedipus the King, to write a screenplay for a film version of the work released in 1968 with Christopher Plummer in the title role. Roche played a small role in the Greek chorus.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Roche was ordained as a priest in 1943 but left priesthood in the 1950s. Married twice, he was a father of three children with his first and one with his second wife, Clarissa Tanner, whom he divorced in 1983.[2]

Significantly, he also had a long relationship with Duncan Grant. He did not get along with Grant's companion and the mother of Grant's child, Vanessa Bell. Equally, Grant was not popular with Roche's wife, Clarissa Tanner. Roche returned to England from New York to be with Grant after Bell's death, eventually joined by his entire family. Tanner came to accept Grant's role in Roche's life, although sexual relations between Roche and Grant cooled off out of respect for Tanner.[3]


  1. ^ Paul Roche at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ family
  3. ^ Spalding, Frances. Paul Roche. The Independent. 8 November 2007.

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