T.S. Eliot called Louis MacNeice 'a poet of genius' , a poet's poet, one 'whose virtuosity can be fully appreciated only by other poets. As his publisher, however, Eliot knew that MacNeice's work could speak to a much larger public. His 'Autumn Journal', published in May 1939, went through five printings during the war years, and it was to become one of the definitive poems of the 1930s.
Jon Stallworthy has produced a remarkable anatomy of an attractive and haunting figure. MacNeice's mother died when he was seven, and Stallworthy shows how his imagination transmuted her ghostly presence, and the powerful presence of his father, into an elemental opposition structuring most of what he would write - from anguished indictments of his native Ireland to poignant love poems. Drawing on the testimony of MacNeice's family, friends and lovers, and his extensive correspondence, Professor Stallworthy has produced a 'speaking likeness' of a poet of rare energy and integrity who was also a brilliant scholar, critic, autobiographer, playwright and translator.
The dust jacket shows signs of shelf wear and slight tanning and there is some writing in ink on the back free endpaper. Other than that, the pages are clean and the binding is tight.