Andrew Young was one of the most original, inventive and paradoxical poets of the twentieth-century. C.S. Lewis called him, ‘A modern Marvell and a modern marvel’, and Philip Larkin remarked that, ‘His works are in no danger of being forgotten’. Regarded as ‘a major poet’ by academic scholars, Young’s prestige in this critical biography is taken one step further and declared a ‘great’ poet.
Dr Richard Ormrod criticises and analyses Andrew Young’s poetry to establish this greatness, especially in his lengthy masterpiece, Out of the World and Back. It also explores his fascinating life and personality: a wry, whimsical, erudite, complex man; a theist and a pantheist; an ironist and wordsmith; and a fervent naturalist, less at ease with people.
Anyone interested in, or studying twentieth-century poetry at any level, will find this book invaluable and its claims challenging. Lovers of plants, birds and animals will be stunned by Young’s deeply observant, unsentimental nature poetry, and by the two witty and engaging prose ‘flower’ books, A Prospect of Flowers and A Retrospect of Flowers – both hardy perennials.
About the Author
Dr Richard Ormrod is an academic who has taught for the Open University, and is a published biographer, journalist, reviewer and poet. Like Andrew Young, he lives in Sussex.
Part 1: The Early Poet and the Priest
1. The Boy and his Background (1885-1902)
2. Student Days (1903-1911)
3. Career and Marriage: Early Years (1912-1920)
Part 2: The Later Poet and Priest
4. The Move South (1920-1938)
5. New Directions (1938-1959)
6. Retirement and Last Years (1959-1971)
7. Out of the World and Back (1952 and 1958)
8. A Literary Life (1910-1937 and 1938-1971)
Part 3: The Naturalist and Topographer (1945-1967)
9. The Naturalist and Topographer (1945-1967)
Part 4: Reassessment
10. Old and New Assessments
Endorsements and Reviews
This book is a fascinating account of the life of this retiring poet, a fine analysis of his poetic skill, a solid reassessment of his reputation, and a resounding defense of his stature as a great poet.
Kevin J. Gardner, in Anglican and Episcopal History, Spring 2020
This book is a fascinating account of the life of this retiring poet, a fine analysis of his poetic skill, a solid reassesment of his reputation, and a resounding defense of his stature as a great poet.
Anglican and Episcopal History, Vol 89(1)