Aldington, Richard

Aldington, Richard

(ôl`dĭngtən), 1892–1962, English poet and novelist. While studying at the Univ. of London, he became acquainted with Ezra Pound and H. D. (Hilda DoolittleDoolittle, Hilda,
pseud. H. D.,
1886–1961, American poet, b. Bethlehem, Pa., educated at Bryn Mawr. After 1911 she lived abroad, marrying Richard Aldington in 1913.
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), whom he married in 1913. He was one of the leading imagistsimagists,
group of English and American poets writing from 1909 to about 1917, who were united by their revolt against the exuberant imagery and diffuse sentimentality of 19th-century poetry.
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 and helped edit the Egoist, the principal imagist organ. His early poems, extraordinary in their verbal precision, were published under the title Images (1915). Images of War and Images of Desire followed in 1919, the latter marking a departure from pure imagism. Aldington's first novel, Death of a Hero (1929), was a bitter indictment of war. It was followed by The Colonel's Daughter (1931), equally biting in its satiric intent. Aldington was at his best when in an angry state of artistic and intellectual rebellion; experiments with milder satire proved less effective. After World War II he published little poetry. His most important work was in biography—Wellington (1946); Portrait of a Genius, But … (1950), a study of D. H. Lawrence; Lawrence of Arabia (1955), a harshly critical portrait of T. E. Lawrence; and Portrait of a Rebel: The Life and Work of Robert Louis Stevenson (1957).


See his autobiographical Life for Life's Sake (1941); study by N. T. Gates (1974).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aldington, Richard


Born July 8, 1892, in Hampshire, Great Britain; died July 27, 1962, at Sury-en-Vaux, Cher, France. English author.

Aldington began his literary career as a poet. From 1913 he edited the imagist journal The Egoist. His voluntary service in World War I determined the nature of his postwar writing, particularly the subject matter and emotional content of the novel Death of a Hero (1929; Russian translation, 1932), a classic literary work of the “lost generation.” Aldington continued his passionate denunciation and satirical debunking of a hypocritical society in the short-story collection Roads to Glory (1930) and in the novel All Men Are Enemies (1933; Russian translation, 1937). For Aldington’s protagonists, personal happiness and love provide an escape from the tragic situation in which the world found itself after the war. Other well-known novels are The Colonel’s Daughter (1931; Russian translation, 1935), Very Heaven (1937; Russian translation, 1938), and Seven Against Reeves (1938; Russian translation, 1968).

In 1939, Aldington emigrated to the USA. From 1946 he lived in France, where he occupied himself primarily with translations and other literary work. He is the author of biographies of a number of writers and political figures, as well as of literary and critical works (including articles, memoirs, and essays), in which he asserts the value of the classics and evaluates the complex art of modernist writers.


Poems. New York, 1934.
Life for Life’s Sake. New York, 1940.
The Romance of Casanova. New York, 1946.
In Russian translation:
Proshchaite, vospominaniia. (Foreword by M. Urnov.) Moscow, 1961. “Otkryvat’ krasotu mira.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1963, no. 8.


Urnov, M. V. Na rubezhe vekov. Moscow, 1970.
R. Oldington: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1965.
Snow, C. P. R. Aldington. London, 1938.
Kershaw, A. A Bibliography of the Works of R. Aldington From 1915 to 1948. London, 1950.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.