AKA Arthur William Symons
Birthplace: Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, England
Location of death: Wittersham, Kent, England
Cause of death: unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Poet, Critic
Executive summary: English symbolist poet
English poet and critic, was born in Pembrokeshire on the 28th of February 1865, of Cornish parents. He was educated privately, spending much of his time in France and Italy. In 1884-86 he edited four of Quaritch's Shakespeare Quarto Facsimiles, and in 1888-89 seven plays of the "Henry Irving" Shakespeare. He became a member of the staff of the Athenaeum in 1891, and of the Saturday Review in 1894. His first volume of verse, Days and Nights (1889), consisted of dramatic monologues. His later verse is influenced by a close study of modern French writers, of Charles Baudelaire and especially of Paul Verlaine. He reflects French tendencies both in the subject matter and style of his poems, in their eroticism and their vividness of description. His volumes of verse are: Silhouettes (1892), London Nights (1895), Amoris victima (1897), Images of Good and Evil (1899), A Book of Twenty Songs (1905). In 1902 he made a selection from his earlier verse, published as Poems (2 vols.). He translated from the Italian of Gabriele D'Annunzio The Dead City (1900) and The Child of Pleasure (1898), and from the French of Émile Verhaeren The Dawn (1898). To The Poems of Ernest Dowson (1905) he prefixed an essay on the deceased poet, who was a kind of English Verlaine and had many attractions for Symons. Among his volumes of collected essays are: Studies in Two Literatures (1897), The Symbolist School in Literature (1899), Cities (1903), word-pictures of Rome, Venice, Naples, Seville, etc., Plays, Acting and Music (1903), Studies in Prose and Verse (1904), Spiritual Adventures (1905), Studies in Seven Arts (1906). A nervous breakdown in 1908 greatly curtailed his work, the struggle with which appears in his Confessions (1930). He died in 1945.
Author of books:
The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899, criticism)
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