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Dreaming of Babylon: The Life and Times of Ralph Hodgson

John Harding



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Ralph Hodgson was already a brilliant graphic artist and innovator in the field of Victorian children's comics when, in the early 1900s, he began producing poetry imbued with a spiritual passion for the beauty of creation and the mystery of existence. Naturally drawn to animals, particularly birds and dogs, he was one of the first major poets of the last century to highlight the threat posed to nature by mankind's greed. His work, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Philip Levine, "challenges us to see with more clarity the people and creatures on the margins of our world". Admired by T.S. Eliot, John Berryman, Stephen Spender and E.E. Cummings, his work has continued to draw praise from more contemporary writers such as Robert Nye, Martin Seymour-Smith and Studs Terkel.

In writing this first-ever biography on Hodgson, John Harding has been able to draw on a wealth of previously unseen documents from libraries and collections on both sides of the Atlantic. In doing so he has brought to life one of England's most intriguing and significant literary characters. Hodgson's close friendships with Eliot, Siegfried Sassoon and Edmund Blunden provide the biography with absorbing insights into contemporary literary history. His life in Japan during the 1920s and 30s and his final years in the United States, when he wrote much of his last, compelling work, will make fascinating reading for both the general reader and literary historian alike. Illustrated with Hodgson's original cartoons and line-drawings, Dreaming of Babylon is sure to capture yet another generation of readers for Hodgson's timeless verse.


About the author:

John Harding is the author of several biographies. He is the editor of a recent volume of Hodgson's poems and has also written books on football, boxing, sailing and flying. He teaches creative writing in London.


238  pages

ISBN: 978-1-906075-00-2

Greenwich Exchange Category: Biography

Series: None



Other books by John Harding published by Greenwich Exchange:

Sweetly Sings Delaney: A Study of Shelagh Delaney's Work 1958-68

Patrick Hamilton

A Bend in the River: V.S. Naipaul

Staging Life: The Story of the Manchester Playwrights

The House with Three Eyes: A Venetian Mystery