Friday, June 24, 2005

Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke: "Rupert Brooke was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, where his father taught classics and was a housemaster at Rugby School. In his childhood Brooke immersed himself in English poetry and twice won the school poetry prize. In 1906 he went to King's college, Cambridge, and became friends with G.E. Moore, Lytton Strachey, Maynard Keynes, Roger Fry, and Leonard Fry, members of the future Bloomsbury Group. In 1910 Brooke's father died suddenly, and Brooke was for a short time in Rugby a deputy housemaster. Thereafter Brooke lived on an allowance from his mother. In 1911 he worked on a thesis on the playwright John Webster and the Elizabethan drama, and travelled in Germany and Italy. In England he was a leader of a group of young 'Neo-pagans', who slept outdoors, embraced a religion of nature, and swam naked - among others Virginia Woolf joined the swimmers in Grantchester. However, sex was something that was not part of the fun - 'We don't copulate without marriage, but we do meet in cafes, talk on buses, go on unchaperoned walks, stay with each other, give each other books, without marriage,' Brooke once told to his friend.

In 1911 appeared Brooke first collection of verse, POEMS, and his work was featured in the periodical Georgian Poetry, edited by his friend, Sir Edward Marsh. Over the next twenty years, the book sold almost 100 000 copies. In 1911 Brooke was secretly engaged to Noel Olivier, five years his junior. The affair was for all participants frustrating and subsequently Brooke had an affair with the actress Cathleen Nesbitt. Overworked and emotionally empty, Brooke suffered a nervous breakdown. In the spring of 1912, Brooke and Ka Cox went to Germany, where he wrote 'The Old Vicarage, Grantchester', which is among his most admired poems."

from a finnish page on the poet known to me as a war poet


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